Russian Yachts, Ships Would Be Seized by U.S. Under Coming Bill

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Russian yachts and commercial ships in U.S. waters would be seized under forthcoming legislation in the U.S. House.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) is pitching legislation that would allow the U.S. to take Russian ships and Russian-owned vessels registered in other countries. Young said he plans to formally introduce the bill, called the Bringing Oligarch Accountability Through Seizure (BOATS) Act, when the House reconvenes.

U.S. lawmakers, the Biden administration, and international allies are looking for ways to ramp up pressure on Russia. The White House is planning to launch a task force this week to find and freeze assets for Russians and companies, including yachts and mansions.

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“Our solidarity with Ukraine must be backed with urgent action against rich Russian oligarchs who continue living lavish lifestyles on mega-yachts,” Young said in a statement. Actions are needed beyond sanctions, he said.

Young’s bill would allow the government to auction off the Russian vessels and what’s inside of them, and the money would then go to humanitarian aid efforts offered by NATO members. The lawmaker said there is “broad bipartisan consensus” to take more action against Russia and he is asking members on both sides of the aisle to support the bill.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lillianna Byington in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Babbage at; Heather Rothman at

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