On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh told anchor Erin Burnett that the German seizure of a Russian oligarch's superyacht is just the start of a concerted effort to bleed Vladimir Putin's allies of all their assets to punish the Kremlin for the invasion of Ukraine.
"I know you sanctioned Putin," said Burnett. "That's obviously important to do, but questionable impact because he's not exposed overseas, but his oligarchs are. One of them was sanctioned by the European Union on Monday ... they've seized his most prized possession. It was docked in Hamburg. Who knows what they were doing. It is a 512-foot yacht. Custom-built. Valued at nearly $600 million. It requires a crew of 96 to even sail this thing. The Germans have seized it. Is the United States prepared to do more like this, in New York and Florida, and taking it away from them?"
"Absolutely," said Singh. "Today, Merrick Garland, our attorney general, officially stood up the DOJ task force. The project is called 'Klepto-Capture.' It is meant to hunt down and seize physical assets, luxury cars and apartments. And they'll use the most cutting-edge cryptocurrency tracing, data analytics, and foreign intelligence to get the job done."
"I would say, along with that announcement, we broadly intensified our strategy of putting debilitating pain to Putin," added Singh. "We sanctioned 22 more Russian defense companies that are powering the Russian war machine. We tightened the vice grip on Russia's economy by preventing Russian exporters from defending the ruble. His war chest of foreign reserves is now essentially worthless. The ruble is worth less than a penny. This pain will continue to intensify for Putin's strategic choices, which will be a failure."
Daleep Singh discusses "Klepto-Capture" effort to seize assets from Russian oligarchs www.youtube.com