The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal released an article on Thursday urging the US government to seize Russia’s sovereign assets and redistribute them to Ukraine. While the Journal welcomed President Joe Biden’s announcement of new sanctions against Russia in light of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death, it said the real “test of seriousness” will be whether Biden decides to strip Russia of the roughly $300 billion it has in Western banks.

The funds were frozen when Putin launched the invasion in February 2022 and have not been touched since then. Some speculate that Western leaders did not seize them as a gesture of goodwill to bring Putin to the negotiating table, but the Journal believes Putin will not agree to any peace deal that does not involve a concession on Ukraine’s side. Instead, the editorial board argues that the only thing to do is to seize the assets and use them to pay for Ukraine’s depleting stores of artillery, ammunition, and other supplies.

Additionally, the Journal, traditionally a center-right newspaper, said the Republican Party’s hesitancy to spend more money on the war is a “shameful position that will tar” its reputation. It reasons that any hold-ups about seizing reserves due to the concept of “sovereign immunity” are moot because Russia has “violated every international legal norm with its brutal aggression.”

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President Joe Biden is set to announce the new sanctions on Friday, which he confirmed to the press prior to leaving for the West Coast this week. “What I came to tell you was we’d be announcing sanctions on Russia. We’ll have a major package announced on Friday,” he said.

Following up on Biden’s statement, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the sanctions “will be a substantial package covering a range of different elements of the Russian defense industrial base, and sources of revenue for the Russian economy that power Russia’s war machine, that power Russia’s aggression and that power Russia’s repression.”

As Valuetainment previously reported, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found dead in an Arctic prison after he reportedly swooned after a walk. He was serving a 19-year sentence on charges of “extremism” connected to his anti-Putin political movement. Alexei’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, claims Putin had him assassinated with the nerve agent Novichok. President Biden said Putin is “responsible” for his death.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).

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