Follow us on social

Shutterstock_192890837

Ukraine launched lobbying blitz ahead of pipeline vote

Kyiv and allied interests have hired nine firms and spent more than $1 million in just the past year.

Reporting | Europe

With Ukraine-Russia tensions reaching a boiling point, the Senate is poised to vote this afternoon on a bill championed by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to sanction Russian businesses associated with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. If completed the pipeline would allow Russia to circumvent Ukraine and export natural gas directly to Germany, a move Ukrainian interests fiercely oppose as, amongst other issues, it will cost the country hundreds-of-millions in energy transit fees it receives every year under the current pipeline system.

While the vote and seemingly all things Ukraine-Russia have garnered front-page headlines, behind the scenes, Ukraine has launched a multi-million dollar lobbying push to steer U.S. foreign policy on this, and other issues, in its direction.

In just the past year, the Ukrainian government and other interests in Ukraine have hired nine firms that registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Most prominently, Yorktown Solutions, has reported receiving more than $1 million from Ukraine clients in 2021 and contacted congressional offices hundreds of times on behalf of the Ukraine Federation of the Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry (UFEOGI), including at least one meeting between these lobbyists and Senator Cruz himself. Yesterday, the firm sent a “Nord Stream 2 pipeline - Facts on the Ground” brief in support of Cruz’s bill to hundreds of congressional offices.

Additionally, UFEOGI inked deals with Karv Communications and Arent Fox in the summer of 2021, which, respectively received nearly $120,000 and more than $300,000 from UFEOGI to advocate against Nord Stream 2. Karv has focused heavily on media outreach related to the pipeline, and reported meeting with journalists at the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Reuters, and others on UFEOGI’s behalf. Arent Fox has played more of an inside game for UFEOGI, focusing its efforts on influence at the State Department. 

These and many more details about the Ukraine lobby in the United States will be chronicled in a forthcoming Quincy Institute report on the topic. And, as for the vote today, even if Cruz’s bill isn’t passed as is expected, it’s well worth noting that Ukraine’s lobbyists and public relations professionals were a vital reason the bill even made it this far. 

Image: Carlos Yudica via shutterstock.com
Reporting | Europe
Congress moves to make Selective Service automatic
Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers bound for Africa mission, Dec. 2023. (photo by Pennsylvania National Guard )
Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers bound for Africa mission, Dec. 2023. (photo by Pennsylvania National Guard )

Congress moves to make Selective Service automatic

Military Industrial Complex


Ronald Reagan vowed to get rid of Selective Service during his 1979 presidential campaign, saying that the military draft “rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state.”

“That assumption isn’t a new one,” he said. “The Nazis thought it was a great idea.”

keep readingShow less
Are the Houthis winning in the Red Sea?

Houthi military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, chants slogans after he delivered a statement on the group's latest attacks during a rally held to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, in Sanaa, Yemen May 24, 2024. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

Are the Houthis winning in the Red Sea?

Middle East

Shortly after Israel began its war on Gaza last year, Yemen’s Ansarallah, commonly known as the Houthis, began firing missiles and drones at Israel-linked merchant and commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden and southern Red Sea.

This was Ansarallah’s way of supporting the Palestinians in Gaza by “counter-blockading the blockader.” Such action has been consistent with Ansarallah’s practice of taking an “eye-for-an-eye” when dealing with the rebel movement’s domestic and foreign enemies.

keep readingShow less
How much did the right really gain in Europe?

Marine Le Pen, President of the French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National - RN) party parliamentary group, and Jordan Bardella, President of the French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National - RN) party and head of the RN list for the European elections, attend a political rally during the party's campaign for the EU elections, in Paris, France, June 2, 2024. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

How much did the right really gain in Europe?

Europe

The elections for the European Parliament brought gains for parties belonging to both its populist far- right factions — European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the more radical Identity and Democracy (ID) group. Parties of the populist or far right (ECR, ID or unaffiliated) came in first in five countries: France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, such parties made a strong second place showing. These elections produced highly unsettling developments in France and Germany, the two most influential EU member countries.

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis

Latest