US OKs transfer of Russian oligarch’s seized assets to Ukraine
Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev in the occupied Donbas. Photo via Malofeev's Facebook page

United States attorney general Merrick Garland has authorised the transfer to Ukraine of the assets seized from Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, Voice of America reported.

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It is the first time the US has agreed to the payment to Kyiv of the money seized from a Russian person under sanctions.

Last year, the US justice department accused Mr Malofeev of violating Russian sanctions after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by providing funding for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea.

Mr Garland also announced the “seizure of millions of dollars in an account at a US financial institution that was used in Mr Malofeev's sanctions violations.”

"While this represents the United States’ first transfer of forfeited Russian funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine. it will not be the last," the US attorney general said in a statement.

Konstantin Malofeev is a long-time sponsor of the Russian orthodox church and separatist movements in eastern Ukraine, who owns the Russian propaganda media group Tsargrad.

He was sanctioned by the US and the European Union in 2014 for supporting the annexation of Crimea and sponsoring LNR and DNR, the terrorist groups in eastern Ukraine.

In early February, the US attorney general announced Mr Malofeev's seized assets would be transferred to Ukraine for reconstruction.