Business & Lobbying

DC lobbyists cut ties with sanctioned Nord Stream 2 firm

Lobbying firms have terminated their contracts with the company behind the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Russian firm in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. 

BGR Group and Roberti Global said Thursday that they severed ties with the pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 AG, which is wholly controlled by a subsidiary of Russian state-owned natural gas firm Gazprom.

“BGR is ending its engagement with the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in compliance with economic and trade sanctions announced by the U.S. government,” a BGR Group spokesperson said in a statement.

In response to Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, President Biden on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, which would have routed Russian natural gas to Germany while bypassing Ukraine. The move came after Germany halted certification of the pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 AG spent millions of dollars on lobbying in recent years in an attempt to stop lawmakers from imposing sanctions on the firm. The Biden administration waived Trump-era sanctions on the pipeline last year, sparking pushback from Democrats and Republicans.

Last year alone, Nord Stream 2 AG paid Roberti Global $2.4 million to lobby lawmakers, according to research group OpenSecrets. It dispatched the firm’s chairman, Vin Roberti, a prominent Democratic fundraiser who helped advise Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign. 

“We are terminating our engagement on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in compliance with U.S. sanctions,” said a spokesperson for Roberti Global. 

The pipeline operator paid BGR Group $870,000 to deploy Walker Roberts, a former senior House GOP international relations staffer who served in the Reagan administration. 

Politico first reported that the lobbying firms severed ties with the pipeline operator Thursday.

The Biden administration has vowed to impose additional, punishing sanctions.

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” Biden said Wednesday.

Tags BGR Group Gazprom Joe Biden Lobbying lobbyists Nord Stream 2 Nord Stream 2 AG Roberti Global Russia-Ukraine conflict sanctions Ukraine invasion Vladimir Putin

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