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US Seizure of Russian Assets Would Axe Hope for Diplomacy, Destroy Ukraine - Senator

© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankTwo-ruble coins at the packaging line of the Moscow Mint.
Two-ruble coins at the packaging line of the Moscow Mint. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.02.2024
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A possible confiscation of frozen Russian assets by the United States would convince Russia that any diplomatic solution is impossible and would result in a "destroyed Ukraine," Sen. Rand Paul said in an article for Responsible Statecraft on Thursday.
"Confiscating Russia’s sovereign assets is an act of economic war," Paul said, adding that passage of this bill will only reinforce the view of "hardliners" in Moscow that the conflict lies not just with Ukraine, but really with the United States and the West.

"Any hope that the United States and Russia could work toward stabilizing or improving relations will subsequently be destroyed," he said.

Last month, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced a bill dubbed the Rebuilding Economic Prosperity and Opportunity (REPO) for Ukrainians Act to authorize the transfer of seized Russian assets to Kiev. Paul opposed advancing the bill. The US House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced their version of the bill in November.
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Paul warned in the article said that enacting the bill will make peace less likely.
"Seizing and transferring these assets to Ukraine may make Washington feel virtuous, but it will not bring peace," he said. "Confiscation will only convince Moscow that there is no negotiated settlement to be had with Ukraine. The result will be a destroyed Ukraine."
If the Congress passes this bill, the US will not be able to use Russia’s frozen assets as a bargaining chip during negotiations, Paul noted. In addition, once Congress provides the president the authority to seize Russian assets, there will be immense political pressure on him to "carry out the policy to avoid looking weak," the senator said.
Confiscating Russia’s assets will also prove to other nations, including China, that Washington cannot be trusted as the guarantor of the global economy, the senator warned.
"They will seek to move away from the dollar and hold their reserves in other currencies," he said. "This process of de-dollarization will be an unmitigated disaster as it will degrade America’s financial strength and ensure the prosperity Americans have come to expect is no longer attainable."
Moscow has maintained that any attempt to confiscate its assets would violate international law. The Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed the freezing of Russian assets as outright theft.
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