Russian Gas Giant, a Sanctions Target, Hires U.S. Lobbyists

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Aug. 13, 2014, 6:10 a.m.

10:10 a.m. — OAO Novatek, a big Rus­si­an nat­ur­al gas com­pany that Pres­id­ent Obama has tar­geted with lim­ited sanc­tions over the Ukraine crisis, has brought on a U.S. lob­by­ing firm. A dis­clos­ure fil­ing shows that OAO Novatek, which is Rus­sia’s second-largest gas pro­du­cer, has hired the lob­by­ing and pub­lic af­fairs com­pany Qor­vis MSL. Lob­by­ing top­ics in­clude ex­ec­ut­ive sanc­tions and sweep­ing Sen­ate GOP le­gis­la­tion, floated in May, called the “Rus­si­an Ag­gres­sion Pre­ven­tion Act” that would im­pose tough sanc­tions and boost U.S. se­cur­ity aid to east­ern Europe (among many oth­er pro­vi­sions). The “ef­fect­ive date” of the lob­by­ing re­gis­tra­tion is Ju­ly 10, which is a week be­fore the Treas­ury De­part­ment an­nounced sanc­tions that lim­it OAO Novatek’s ac­cess to new debt fin­an­cing from U.S. in­sti­tu­tions, though it was already clear that the White House was ready­ing new meas­ures against Rus­sia. — Ben Ge­man

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