Kremlin decries US plan to give seized Russian money to Ukraine

Kremlin spokesman Peskov speaks before a press conference in St Petersburg

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A U.S. plan to send Ukraine funds seized from Russian businesspeople targeted by sanctions is illegal and any such actions will be contested, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on a visit to Kyiv on Wednesday that Washington was transferring to Ukraine $5.4 million in "assets seized from sanctioned Russian oligarchs, which will now be used to support Ukrainian military veterans".

Peskov told reporters: "This is hard to imagine and it goes against everything in international law and those countries' national law. But as soon as an opportunity presents itself, we will defend our rights."

Peskov said some Russian entrepreneurs had already secured court rulings in European countries finding such transfers illegal.

"Not a single case of such illegal retention will be left unattended," he said.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Kevin Liffey)