ATACMS missiles for Ukraine and confiscation of Russian assets. How will Moscow respond?

Russia has options to respond to US decision to transfer ATACMS to Ukraine

Two aspects of the US bill on American assistance to Ukraine are of interest to Russia. It goes about the transfer of long-range ATACMS missiles and the confiscation of Russian assets.

The Russian Federation has US responses to the transfer of ATACMS to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the confiscation of Russian assets.

The United States intends to revise the risks regarding the transfer of ATACMS missiles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Let's say right away that these laws (if approved in the Senate and signed by President Joseph Biden) only push the presidential administration to do this.

Speaker Mike Johnson's Foreign Assistance Initiative Act 4 proposes requiring President Biden to transfer long-range ATACMS missile systems to Ukraine "as soon as possible."

However, the transfer could be delayed should the president decide that it would be "prejudicial to the national security interests of the United States." In this case, Biden will be required to notify the Congressional Defense Committee, the Senate Appropriations and Foreign Relations Committee, and the House Appropriations and Foreign Affairs Committee of his decision.

Last year, Kyiv repeatedly requested ATACMS missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometres for HIMARs systems, but Biden refused each time to avoid an escalation with a nuclear power. The White House transferred missiles with a range of up to 165 kilometres in small quantities.

Senior US General Charles Brown recently said that supplying longer-range missiles to Kyiv was not as risky as before. Russia's "restrained response" to a series of recent Ukrainian drone attacks deep into the Russian territory let the Pentagon adjust its risk analysis for sending ATACMS to Ukraine, he said.

However, he did not take into account that Russia, in response to possible missile attacks on Sevastopol, the Kerch Bridge, etc, will begin to shoot down American drones that fly over the Black Sea and direct Ukrainian forces to carry out attacking on Crimea.

The United States will push Europe to confiscate Russian assets

The second law, "21st Century Peace through Strength Act,” provides for a possibility to confiscate Russian sovereign assets and property of any "institutions and establishments” associated with Russia, in the amount of $5 billion for their subsequent transfer to Ukraine. It is up to Biden to give the go-ahead to this as well.

To accumulate the stolen assets, a US-controlled Ukraine Support Fund is to be created. Property assets will be sold and the proceeds will be transferred to the fund. The law has extraterritorial force. Therefore, the EU with 250 billion of frozen Russian assets will be under constant pressure.

Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov promised that Washington's actions would be the subject of endless legal proceedings. There is no doubt that Washington's initiative will force other countries (primarily China) to withdraw their assets from the US banking system. This would be highly dangerous for the debt-mired country.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov