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RussiaFebruary 14 2022, 14:54 pm

Russia Spent $35 Million On Foreign Influence And Lobbying Targeting The US Amid Escalating Ukraine Conflict

US media is report­ing that Rus­sia is pour­ing mil­lions into for­eign influ­ence and lob­by­ing oper­a­tions tar­get­ing the US amid the esca­lat­ing con­flict in Ukraine. In 2021 alone, for­eign agents work­ing for Russ­ian state media out­lets spent $34.8 mil­lion on pro­pa­gan­da tar­get­ing the US. Accord­ing to an inves­ti­ga­tion by OpenSecrets:

Feb­ru­ary 2, 2022 As ten­sions esca­late between Rus­sia and Ukraine, Rus­sia is pour­ing mil­lions of dol­lars into for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions and pro­pa­gan­da.  Russ­ian inter­ests report­ed spend­ing about $182 mil­lion on lob­by­ing, for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions and pro­pa­gan­da in the U.S. since 2016, accord­ing to OpenSe­crets’ analy­sis of For­eign Agents Reg­is­tra­tion Act and Lob­by­ing Dis­clo­sure Act data. For­eign agents work­ing for Russ­ian state media out­lets spent $34.8 mil­lion on pro­pa­gan­da tar­get­ing the U.S. in 2021 alone. Com­pa­nies whose inter­ests align with Russia’s have spent heav­i­ly on lob­by­ing around Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which would deliv­er Russ­ian nat­ur­al gas to Ger­many while bypass­ing Ukraine.  In the midst of the mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar lob­by­ing fight, Pres­i­dent Joe Biden waived sanc­tions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in May 2021 and admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials report­ed­ly made calls urg­ing sen­a­tors to quash Nord Stream 2 sanc­tion mea­sures unless the White House has the pow­er to waive the con­gres­sion­al­ly-man­dat­ed sanctions.

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The report notes that the Rus­sia-Ukraine con­flict most­ly plays out in lob­by­ing relat­ed to the Nord Stream pipeline, with for­eign com­pa­nies linked to the project hav­ing spent more than $6.8 mil­lion lob­by­ing against sanc­tions and oth­er issues relat­ed to the pipeline project since the start of 2020.

In Octo­ber, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report report­ed that Russ­ian media out­lets have spent more than $146 mil­lion on for­eign influ­ence oper­a­tions and pro­pa­gan­da in the US since 2016. We have also exten­sive­ly cov­ered Russia’s influ­ence and dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions amid the Ukraine conflict.

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