President Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Thursday that American taxpayers are bearing the cost of maintaining Russian superyachts seized from oligarchs as a part of sanctions against the Russian economy.
Sullivan was caught on a hot mic at a conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) while speaking about foreign policy issues facing the Biden administration. He said one “crazy” aspect of sanctions against Russia is that the U.S. government is paying for the upkeep of yachts seized from Russian billionaires in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke at a think tank this AM. He was caught on a hot mic talking Russian yachts.
“You know what the craziest thing is: When we seize one, we have to pay for upkeep. The federal government pays for upkeep, under the forfeiture rubric…”
— Jonathan Guyer (@mideastXmidwest) June 16, 2022
“You know what the craziest thing is: When we seize one, we have to pay for upkeep. The federal government pays for upkeep, under the forfeiture rubric,” Sullivan was heard saying, according to Vox reporter Jonathan Guyer. “Some people are basically being paid to maintain Russian super-yachts on behalf of the United States government. It’s unbelievable.”
CNAS has since made the video of Sullivan’s interview private on Youtube. (RELATED: People Online Are Tracking Russian Oligarchs Yachts For Seizure Around The World)
The United States, along with some allies, have been seizing the assets of some Russian oligarchs, including yachts, that are outside of Russia. The move is part of a sanctions regime aimed at diminishing domestic support for Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.
Biden has come under fire from some critics for spending too many resources on the war in Ukraine. He recently authorized the spending of an additional $40 billion to aid Ukraine in the fight against Moscow.