02. December 2022

Confiscating assets to rebuild Ukraine: developments since the start of the war – an #IACC2022 panel

Starving the kleptocratic Kremlin to rebuild Ukraine

One of the major topics of discussion on- and off-stage at this year’s International Anti-Corruption Conference in Washington D.C. will no doubt be the war of aggression in Ukraine.

A session on 9 December 2022 will explore a tricky but absolutely critical issue: whether and how frozen kleptocratic assets can be confiscated and used to fund Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The panel, “Starving the Kleptocratic Kremlin to rebuild Ukraine: asset recovery developments since the start of the war” is co-organised by Transparency International Ukraine and the Basel Institute on Governance. The Basel Institute’s Managing Director Gretta Fenner will moderate the panel, which features:

  • Péter Csonka, Deputy Director, Directorate Criminal Justice, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission
  • Anton Korynevych, Head of UA Freeze and Seize Task Force
  • David Lim, Deputy Director, Task Force KleptoCapture, USA
  • Kateryna Ryzhenko, Deputy Executive Director on Legal Affairs, Transparency International Ukraine

It takes place on Friday, 9 December at 15:30 EST in Palladium F4T.

The issue behind the headlines

The war in Ukraine has led to vast suffering on all fronts. Repairing the physical and economic damage will require unprecedented amounts of funding.

Western governments have repeatedly declared their readiness to support Ukraine. As part of that, they have imposed unprecedented political and economic sanctions. This has led to mass asset freezes and political promises that these assets will swiftly be confiscated and put at the disposal of the reconstruction of Ukraine.

However, despite the international commitment to transfer frozen kleptocratic assets to Ukraine, a mechanism for its practical implementation remains a complex issue.

At the same time, the aggression against Ukraine presents may finally give governments the necessary enthusiasm to review and reform existing mechanisms for asset recovery and international cooperation.

The aim of the panel discussion is to explore initial efforts in recovering assets frozen under war-related sanctions and test them for their legal and technical feasibility. We hope thereby to contribute to the global effort to accelerate asset recovery and push boundaries of current practice.