Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who helped block sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project, received campaign donations from corporate PACs affiliated with two of the European companies that helped fund the pipeline, according to a report from the Washington Free Beacon.
Reportedly, the parent company for ENGIE North America and a subsidiary for BASF are part of the group of five businesses that financed the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.
The Free Beacon wrote:
The contributions to Schumer came amid an aggressive lobbying effort in Washington over sanctions on the 764-mile pipeline. The five European companies that back Nord Stream 2—Wintershall, ENGIE, Uniper, Shell, and OMV—have paid millions of dollars to lobbying firms to block sanctions.
Nord Stream 2 AG, the Swiss company that is building the pipeline, lobbies Congress through Democratic donor Vincent Roberti. Roberti gave maximum donations of $5,800 to Schumer and other Senate Democrats last year, Axios reported. Thomas McLarty, the founder of McLarty Inbound, a firm that lobbies for the five European companies, in April gave $2,500 to Schumer.
ENGIE North America, a subsidiary of the French firm ENGIE, contributed to Schumer’s campaign on Sept. 9. BASF, the parent company of Wintershall, donated to Schumer on Sept. 22. ENGIE also contributed to Schumer’s campaign in 2020, while BASF gave to the Senate leader in 2016, according to FEC records. Each member of the European consortium loaned 1 billion euros to Nord Stream 2 AG in 2017. Nord Stream 2 AG is controlled by Russian state oil company Gazprom. Nord Stream 2 AG’s chief executive officer, Matthias Warnig, is a Putin ally and former officer of the East German secret police.
All of this occurred as Schumer reportedly blocked requests from Senate Republicans for legislation to enforce sanctions on the Russian pipeline project after President Joe Biden waived sanctions last year. At the time, Biden said that the pipeline was almost complete and imposing sanctions would be “counter-productive” for European relations.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to pass legislation earlier this month but failed after Senate Democrats used the filibuster, which they are busy trying to eliminate, to block his legislation. The bill only had 55 votes, short of the filibuster’s required 60 votes to end debate and move to a final vote.
The Free Beacon noted that neither Schumer’s office nor ENGIE North America returned a comment request. But a spokesman for BASF illuded that its American subsidiary does not lobby members of Congress on the Nord Stream 2 and that Wintershall does not have a presence in the U.S. “Any implied connection between our Employee PAC contributions and Nord Stream 2 is incorrect,” the spokesman said.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.