Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine so far shows no signs of stopping, and Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to battle over control of key cities across the country. Much of the world has condemned the Kremlin’s war and called for consequences for Russia’s political and military elite. With the G7’s sweeping sanctions on Russia’s economy and major international financial nations like Switzerland freezing Russian assets, an estimated $360 billion in foreign reserves is now out of reach for Putin and his government.

However, according to the most reliable estimates, Russia has the world’s largest volume of dark money hidden abroad—about $1 trillion. With the United States serving as a major hub for global money laundering, what needs to happen so the United States can find and freeze hidden Russian assets in the US economy? What is the role of Congress in this fight against kleptocracy?

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, US senator from Rhode Island, joins Julia Friedlander, C. Boyden Gray senior fellow and director of the Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center’s Economic Statecraft Initiative, for a one-on-one discussion on the senator’s lead role on tracking down dark money in the United States financial system. Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, welcomes.

This event will not feature an in-person audience. You will be able to join via desktop or mobile app, through your web browser, or by phone. To join the question and answer period, you must join by app or web.

Register below for details on joining the virtual audience.

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Nov 17, 2020

Defending the United States against Russian dark money

By Anders Åslund, Julia Friedlander

Warfare has evolved and the United States now faces a major unconventional threat: Russia’s estimated $1 trillion of dark money. With it, the Kremlin can wreak havoc if the US fails to act and recognize this national security threat for what it is.

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