As tensions with Russia reach a boiling point, lobbyists from Ukraine are working feverishly to shape the U.S. response. Firms working for Ukrainian interests have inundated congressional offices, think tanks, and journalists with more than 10,000 messages and meetings in 2021, according to an analysis of Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, filings for a forthcoming report from the Quincy Institute. To put this extraordinary campaign into perspective, the Saudi lobby — known for being one of the largest foreign lobbies in D.C. — reported 2,834 contacts, barely a quarter of what Ukraine’s agents have done.
Russia has positioned more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border and, just yesterday, it began conducting military drills with Belarus on Ukraine’s border in what some fear could be the lead-up to an invasion. As the number of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border has grown, so too have the efforts of Ukraine’s agents in the U.S. to secure U.S. and NATO military support.
More specifically, the far-reaching campaign has been focused on stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Ukrainian officials argue is as much of a threat to their security as Russian troops. If completed, the pipeline would allow Russia to export natural gas directly to Germany and the rest of Europe, jeopardizing the billions Ukraine currently earns from transiting Russian gas to Europe.
Congress has been the primary target of Ukraine’s agents, with over 300 House and Senate staff and members of Congress on the receiving end of more than 8,000 emails, phone calls, and meetings with Ukraine’s lobbyists. Agents representing the Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry, or UFEOGI, the largest association of energy companies in Ukraine, have flooded Capitol Hill with headlines like “Ukrainians call on U.S. Senate to sanction Putin’s pipeline weapon,” and others claiming “Moscow regards concessions as a sign of weakness.”
Read the full article in The Intercept.