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Gazprom Lobbyists Spent $1 Mln Shielding European Pipeline From Sanctions

Axel Schmidt / DPA / TASS

An affiliate of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has reportedly spent almost $1million dollars in the United States lobbying to protect a pipeline from Russia to Germany from sanctions.

Fresh U.S sanctions on Russia signed by U.S. President Donald Trump in August could hamper Russia’s plans for a pipeline to Europe. Moscow’s Nord Stream-2 project has sown divisions in the EU, with some member states saying increased reliance on Russian gas poses a security threat.

The Swiss company Nord Stream 2, an affiliate of Russia's energy monopoly Gazprom, spent at least $880,000 lobbying against sanctions on the Nord Stream-2 natural gas pipeline, the RBC business portal reported on Monday.

The U.S. firm Capitol Council received $150,000 from Gazprom, the Hawksbill Group $80,000, and Robert Global $650,000, according to the Senate database on lobbyists.

RBC wrote that the lobbyists addressed "issues related to the USA regarding the pipeline Nord Stream-2, including the effect of potential financial sanctions on the project."

A representative of the Swiss Nord Stream 2 confirmed to RBC that lobbyists were hired in Washington to ensure that "American legislators and interested parties were correctly informed about the project."

American companies that invest in Russian pipelines or supply them with goods, services, or technologies risk sanctions themselves, RBC reported.

The Nord Stream-2 is already the target of a European Commission draft law to regulate seabed pipelines on European Union territory and a Danish law to halt pipelines in its territorial waters for reasons of national security.

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