Posted September 5, 2014 3:26 pm by Comments

While Joe Biden’s son and the ex-roommate of John Kerry’s son have become directors for Ukrainian gas giant Burisma Holdings, a filing submitted last week reported that Gazprombank GPB (OJSC), Russia’s third largest bank which is controlled by state-owned energy company Gazprom (the country’s largest gas producer and a supplier of about a third of Europe’s natural gas), has hired former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. and former Senator John Breaux, D-La. to lobby against the Russia sanctions. The pair are being listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for the firm Squire Patton Boggs.

On July 16th, the US Treasury Department had added Gazprombank to a list of Russian firms barred from debt financing with US institutions as part of the sanctions against Russia.

The move shoulf not come as a surprise though. Last month, Russian gas firm OAO Novatek had retained Washington DC public relations firm Qorvis to lobby the Obama administration and Congress after one of its largest shareholders, an associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin, was similarly targeted for Russia sanctions by the United States.

As for Lott and Breaux, they both left public service almost a decade ago. In 2008, they started a lobbying firm with their sons, Breaux Lott Leadership Group, which was acquired by DC-lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs in 2010. Patton Boggs merged with Squire Sanders to form Squire Patton Boggs in June.

To read the whole article, Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators, go to the website of the Center for Public Integrity.

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