Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) and Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), who co-chair the Congressional Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy, today called for the freezing and seizure of assets held by allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began last night.
“We urge President Biden to immediately impose full freezing sanctions on the so-called Navalny 35 list of Russian oligarchs, crooks, and officials who prop up the Putin regime,” Malinowski and Curtis said in a joint statement. “Endemic corruption and theft from the Russian people fuels Putin’s repression and military aggression; it is also his greatest political vulnerability… The time for coordinated action against these enablers of Putin’s abuses is now.”
The statement also encouraged other countries who oppose the Russian invasion to use their own powers to seize the assets of the Navalny 35, a group of Putin confidants identified by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“The United States government should use all of its diplomatic resources and legal authorities to ensure that third countries seize the yachts, private jets, beachside villas, and hidden bank accounts of Putin’s cronies,” Malinowski and Curtis said. “If additional legal authorities are needed to compel action by such countries, the Biden administration should work with Congress to pass the necessary legislation.”
Locally in New Jersey, State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) has proposed similarly intentioned legislation that would prohibit state entities from conducting business with Russia, while a number of other New Jersey politicians have issued statements condemning the invasion.