Friday, January 19, 2018

Environmental group may have to register as foreign agents

...While the media remains largely focused on ongoing investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, the connection between Vladimir Putin’s government and U.S. environmental groups deserves more scrutiny.

Klein Ltd., a Bermuda-based shell corporation run by executives with strong ties to longtime Putin friend Leonid Reiman and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and Vimpelcom Ltd., reportedly funneled $23 million to the Sea Change Foundation, according to a detailed 2014 U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report.

Klein’s legal counsel dismisses such charges as “completely false and irresponsible.” But in a letter addressed to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, members of Congress document evidence pointing to a paperless money trail that flows from Russia into U.S. environmental groups through the Sea Change Foundation. The implication is that the Russians have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into willing environmental advocacy groups in an effort to spread propaganda directed against fracking in the U.S. and the technology that makes it possible, according to evidence presented in the letter....