Ukrainian politicians paid 2 billion to American lobbyists

Ukrainian politicians have paid $2 billion to US-based lobbyists over the past three years, which can be seen from reports of lobbying companies that regularly disclose their contacts.

The most active customers of overseas lobbying services are the Ukrainian Presidential Administration and the Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna (All-Ukrainian “Fatherland”) Party, writes Novoe Vremya news website, citing an investigation by journalist Tatiana Kozyreva.
At the same time, the fact that both the Presidential Administration and Tymoshenko’s team hired lobbyists had been concealed by working with the American professionals through various funds or public organizations.

Thus, in recent reports to the US Department of Justice, two large lobbying companies, Wiley Rein LLP and MKW Group LLC, recorded a working relationship with Aveiro LP.

“This is a British structure, but its director, Yulia Belousova, is Ukrainian. And the office listed as the legal address of Aveiro LP is a mass registration site, where dozens of other companies are registered. And Belousova’s company was registered offshore in Belize, with bank accounts in Latvia,” the newspaper writes.

Aveiro LP made arrangements with Wiley Rein LLP for a meeting between Grigory Nemyri, one of the top People’s Deputies of the Batkivshchyna Party, and representatives of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. The company paid $410,000 for the services of lobbyists.

Lobbyists are also used by politicians other than Tymoshenko. For instance, contracts for $90,000 in 2015 and $30,000 in 2016 was found in reports by American lobbying firm Barbour Griffi & Rogers Group (BGR) for “advisement on issues of relations between the United States and Ukraine relating to political, economic, defense and anti-corruption Reforms”.

The customer was the non-governmental organization Ukraine Investment Alliance. It was created in the autumn of 2014, and its founders are employees of the lobbying firm BGR, who confessed that they met with Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, Dmytro Shimkiv, and “a friend of the president.”

“In 2014, the Ukraine Investment Alliance received $2 million, most of which went to pay for a project related to research for the defense complex. It was ordered from RAND, an American strategic think tank. The rest of the finances of Ukraine Investment Alliance went to pay for work by lobbyists”, wrote the publication.

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