Financial Times reports the transfer occurred earlier this year. Garland said more transfers of this kind are coming.
“While this represents the United States’ first transfer of forfeited Russian funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine, it will not be the last,” he said.
Last year, Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, an investor and founder of a pro-Russia media empire, was charged with breaching sanctions imposed in response to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
At the time, Garland said millions of dollars had been seized “from an account at a US financial institution traceable to Malofeyev’s sanctions violations.”
The funds were transferred in February after Garland spoke with Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Andriy Kostin.
It remains a mystery how the transferred funds would be used by Ukraine for rebuilding efforts, considering the ongoing war and what’s expected to be a bloody and destructive spring offensive.
Rebuilding Ukraine could cost at least $411 billion over the next ten years, the World Bank said in a March report. The figures should be seen as a “minimum as needs will continue to rise as long as the war continues,” the report said.
In December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with BlackRock CEO Larry Fink about a reconstruction program when the war ends. Zelenskiy also met with bankers from JPMorgan Chase & Co in February about investing in the country.
It seems that postwar plans are already being drawn up, and Western banking elites are already circling the war-torn Eastern European country for multi-billion reconstruction investments.