Ukraine v. Russia and the Kleptocrats: The Legal Route to Recover Ukraine’s Losses

Friday, April 8, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center released a new report, Ukraine v. Russia and the Kleptocrats: The Legal Route to Recover Ukraine’s Losses, by Alan Riley. The report and panel discussion focused on the legal avenues Ukraine can take to recover assets lost under the Yanukovych regime and Russia’s occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

No country has suffered more from Russia’s renewed interest in redefining European borders than Ukraine: pro-Russian elites have plundered the country’s assets and resources, and Russia’s occupation of Crimea and the Donbas has hobbled Ukraine’s economy and displaced over one million people. In addition, former President Viktor Yanukovych’s kleptocratic regime pilfered Ukraine’s state budget. The report argues Ukraine must deploy legal mechanisms to recover state-owned assets stolen by the previous regime and obtain redress from Russia for incurred liabilities. Recouping these losses will bolster Ukraine’s state finances, improve its bargaining position vis-à-vis Russia, and reinforce its sovereignty as an independent nation capable of determining its own position in Europe.
The panel featured esteemed legal voices who debated the feasibility of recouping Ukraine’s plundered wealth. Dr. Riley was joined by The Hon. C. Boyden Gray, Founding Partner of Boyden Gray & Associates and Dr. Ruth Wedgwoon, Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The Hon. Walter B. Slocomb, senior council at Caplin & Drysdale, moderated event.

Watch the discussion below: