Opinion: How the US can make Russia pay the Ukrainians

The Ukrainian Sovereignty Act of 2022 would ensure that Ukrainians, whether U.S. citizens or not, could seek damages from U.S. courts for any losses suffered as a result of the Russian invasion, paid for by assets seized from Russia or Russian oligarchs in the United States. government sanctioned.

This bill responds to both ethical principles and the economic interests of the United States while creating a practical mechanism for Ukrainians to rebuild their lives.

The Dingell-Upton bill would change that, and tens of billions of dollars that the Bank of Russia has stored in the United States, not to mention assets seized from other Russians and sanctioned Russian entities, could be available to help compensate Ukrainian refugees and survivors. of the war.
If the bill proposed by Dingell and Upton passes, a Ukrainian family whose home was destroyed by a Russian military bombardment could sue in the United States. Such litigation could target the replacement of home and property as well as medical expenses and classic compensation for damages.

Ukraine could also take legal action in the United States and use all Russian funds to help rebuild hospitals, schools and other structures that the Russian military destroyed during this illegal invasion. US citizens and any businesses they own that suffered losses in Ukraine could also be compensated.

While there is no way to make up for the devastating loss of their homes, neighborhoods and communities, this bill creates a way for Ukrainians to hold Russian leader Vladimir Putin accountable and use everything what is assigned to them to rebuild their lives. This extraordinary process is justified by the apparent war crimes that Russia has inflicted on Ukraine, in particular the civilian population consisting mainly of women, children and the elderly. (Russia continues to deny responsibility and to deny having committed war crimes.)
The senses. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, and Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, also introduced legislation targeting seized Russian assets to create a Ukrainian relief fund to support refugees and reconstruction. A similar bill was introduced by Representatives Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Joe Wilson, a Republican from South Carolina, and was defeated by the Foreign Affairs Committee on April 5. This measure has since been amended in light of due process. concerns. It no longer has the force and effect of law and is now a “meaning of Congress” resolution.

It’s time to say enough is enough of the injustice, pain and suffering that an autocratic ruler and his corrupt cadre of billionaire oligarchs are inflicting on millions of innocent people. Yes, at some point there will be an end to this madness and horror. But one thing is certain: Russia will not or will not be able to contribute to the reconstruction of this decimated nation which it has so deliberately destroyed. Now is the time to put in place a process by which these assets can be used to right this terrible wrong.

As a nation, we have already pledged to help Ukraine through direct aid and economic sanctions, even if it could drive up the prices of gas and other commodities. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t force Russia to step in and help rebuild a nation it is ruthlessly destroying. Bills proposed to Congress do just that.

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