U.S. Works to 'Seize and Freeze' Wealth of Russian Oligarchs
International Trade attorney Dariya Golubkova was interviewed by the Associated Press for an article discussing how the United States and other countries will enforce sanctions against Russian oligarchs and fulfill promises to seize their assets. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland recently announced the formation of a task force called REPO that will collaborate with other countries to investigate and prosecute individuals with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the formation of another group known as KleptoCapture to enforce the economic restrictions imposed on Russia. However, enforcing these sanctions is easier said than done — differing laws can complicate discovery, investigations can last months and officials must demonstrate probable cause before seizing assets. Ms. Golubkova commented that international cooperation, especially from countries that serve as a haven for oligarchs' property, will help ensure the sanctions are effective. Nevertheless, she added that different search and seizure laws across countries could present insurmountable hurdles for investigators.
"Some of these requirements may be so mounting that you can't get over them," she said.