US to transfer assets seized from Russian oligarchs to Ukraine

The United States says it will send assets to Ukraine that have been seized from the sanctioned wealthy Russians known as oligarchs.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement at a news conference on Wednesday in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Earlier in the day, he held talks with Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Blinken said the US is for the first time "transferring to Ukraine assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs." The oligarchs are known to be close to President Vladimir Putin's administration.

Reuters news agency reports that Washington is transferring 5.4 million dollars in assets to Ukraine.

Blinken said the assets will be used to support Ukrainian military veterans. He added, "Those who have enabled Putin's war of aggression should pay for it."

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reacted sharply on Thursday, saying the retention of Russia's state or private property is illegal. He stressed that none of these cases will be ignored.