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Hunter Biden lobbies in favor of Ukrainian Naftogaz

Birisma, Hunter Biden, Naftogaz, Biden, LBG, Russia, Ukrainian, Ukraine

International

Hunter Biden lobbies in favor of Ukrainian Naftogaz

After Burisma scandal, now US President Joe Biden’s scandalous son Hunter Biden has started lobbying in favor of Ukrainian company Naftogaz for purchasing and financing supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative to pipeline gas. Ukraine currently is buying reverse gas from those countries which resell after buying from Russia.

Yuriy Vitrenko, the CEO of the Ukranian company told Bloomberg TV:

The head of the Ukrainian company told Bloomberg TV: “We would need to import gas worth up to US$8 billion for the next heating season. And that’s exactly what we were discussing here in the United States, some financing for the US LNG that can replace pipeline gas that we have been traditionally buying in Europe”.

Vitrenko noted that Ukraine stopped direct purchases of Russian gas in 2015, increasing imports from its western neighbors instead. “But since we are lobbying for a full embargo on Russian gas, we believe that US LNG is the best alternative that we are trying to buy at the moment”, he said.

The Naftogaz chief added: “In our case, US LNG can cover all our needs for imports. But if we look at a wider European situation, it cannot replace realistically, in the short-term, supplies from Russia”.

According to Ukraine’s Gas Transmission Systems (GTS), natural gas consumption in the country last year amounted to 26.8 billion cubic meters. The figure was almost double domestic gas production, which totaled 13.67 billion cubic meters according to Naftogaz.

Until now, none of the media outlets have reported the secret connections between Naftogaz and Hunter Biden. According to a credible source, Hunter Biden will be getting 3 percent commission on the total volume of contract, majority of which would be deposited in his secret offshore bank accounts.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, Ukrainian lobbyists contacted US congressional offices, think tanks, and media figures over 10,000 times last year, according to an analysis of Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings reported by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

The Quincy report pointed to the “extraordinary” scale of Ukraine’s lobbying campaign, noting that the lobbying efforts of Saudi Arabia – known as one of the largest foreign lobbies in Washington DC – pales in comparison.

According to the report, most of Kiev’s persuasive efforts focused on members of Congress, who were deluged with over 8,000 contacts – emails, phone calls, and meetings – in an effort to convince them of the need to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, among other issues.

The Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry (UFEOGI), the country’s largest energy trade group, would reportedly cite Ukraine’s PM, arguing that the pipeline was “no less an existential threat to Ukraine’s “security and democracy” than “Russian troops on the border”. The pipeline, which is completed but still has to receive the green light from German regulators, would allow Russia to export gas directly to Europe without having to pay Kiev billions for the transfer of gas.

UFEOGI lobbyists apparently centered their efforts on Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who took just several days to channel the Ukrainian PM on social media. In his own message, Cruz likewise referred to the Russian pipeline as an “existential threat”.

The trade group also sought to reach out to senators who had previously backed legislation to thwart the completion of the pipeline, including several members of the Foreign Relations Committee with a history of anti-Russian votes. Cruz, Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) were all contacted at least 100 times last year, with some of these contacts resulting in their staffers meeting directly with Ukrainian energy lobbyists, the report claims.

The bill proposed by Cruz would have imposed bans on doing business with US companies for those involved with the Nord Stream 2 project, in addition to travel restrictions and asset freezes. It failed to pass, however.

A separate legislative proposal, put forth by Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and dubbed “the mother of all sanctions”, would punish senior Russian officials and banks in the event of an invasion of Ukraine. The Quincy report noted that one of Menendez’s former staffers, Brittany Beaulieu, now represents UFEOGI, as well as the ‘Civil Movement for a Just Ukraine’.

Apart from the US lawmakers, Ukrainian lobbyists also reportedly courted pro-NATO think tank the Atlantic Council, contacting it hundreds of times. The report noted that one of the richest men in Ukraine, Victor Pinchuk, is also one of the Atlantic Council’s international advisers, while his foundation is a major contributor to the think tank.

Ukrainian lobbyists also targeted the Heritage Foundation, which has has been advocating selling more US weapons to Ukraine and ramping up US financial assistance to Kiev. The lobbyists reached out 180 times to high-ranking figures in the organization, including its VP, throughout 2021, according to the report.

The lobbyists also did not overlook the US media, contacting the Wall Street Journal’s newsroom at least 147 times last year, the report said, citing Quincy’s analysis of the interactions.

Russia has repeatedly denied plans to invade its neighbor, dismissing reports to the contrary as fake news. US media outlets, nevertheless, have attempted to predict the outbreak of hostilities down to the very day, citing anonymous government sources. Numerous US officials have argued that the invasion was looming, with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan saying on Friday that it could begin “any time”.

On Saturday, however, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the Americans to share the evidence they supposedly have of Russia’s intentions after having previously warned that reports of an imminent war risk destabilizing his country.

American 4-star General accused of lobbying

Former US Marine Corps General John Allen could face criminal charges over his alleged role in an illegal lobbying campaign for the Qatari government, according to FBI documents obtained by the Associated Press. The filing indicates the high-ranking officer misled US authorities about the nature of his work and how he stood to personally gain from his dealings with Doha.

Allen provided a “false version of events” when interviewed by law enforcement about the lobbying efforts in 2020 and likely violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the FBI said in a 77-page search warrant application seen by the AP.

“There is substantial evidence that these FARA violations were willful”, wrote FBI agent Babak Adib, referring to a law requiring those working on behalf of foreign interests to register with the Justice Department and disclose their activities.

The general, who took up the top post at the Brookings Institution thinktank in 2017 after leading US and NATO forces in Afghanistan under President Barack Obama, worked “behind the scenes” to influence American policy in favor of Qatar following a major diplomatic spat between the Gulf kingdom and its neighbors in 2017. However, Allen misrepresented the lobbying and failed to disclose that he was “simultaneously pursuing multimillion-dollar business deals with the government of Qatar,” Adib added.

According to the AP, the document outlining the case against Allen “appears to have been filed in error,” but was removed from the docket on Tuesday after the outlet requested comment from federal officials. The retired general declined to speak on the filing, but previously denied working as a Qatari agent, while a spokesperson recently told the AP that he “voluntarily cooperated with the government’s investigation into this matter”.

The probe into Allen comes as part of a wider investigation surrounding Richard Olson, who served as US ambassador to both the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan between 2008 and 2015. Last week, Olson pleaded guilty to federal charges linked to lobbying for Qatar, demanding to know why Allen also hadn’t been indicted, as he claims to have worked closely with the general to sway US policy. Pakistani-American businessman Imaad Zuberi, a high-profile political donor, has also been implicated in the scheme and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in February.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a number of allied states broke diplomatic ties with Doha and closed their borders, airspace and waters to the country in 2017, citing Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorist groups and warmer relations with Iran. The crisis was largely resolved early last year, after Riyadh and several of its partners agreed to begin a reconciliation process under a US- and Kuwaiti-brokered deal. It is unclear whether the alleged lobbying by Olson, Zuberi or Allen had any impact on American policy toward Qatar throughout the spat.

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