Conflict of Interest is not Disclosed as Kremlin’s Lobbyist Interviewed on NPR

Aug 10 2018

On July 12, 2018, NPR’s 1A Program covering NATO’s 2018 Summit in Brussels featured Frances G. Burwell identified as Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council (at 2:49 of the podcast).

During her interview, Ms. Burwell discussed Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the German-Russian relations in a positive way, arguing against the U.S. taking a hard stance toward these issues.

Both, the show’s host Joshua Johnson and his guest failed to disclose Ms. Burwell’s affiliation as Senior Adviser at McLarty Associates, a law firm lobbying to advance the interests of the Kremlin-promoted Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Washington, D.C. Emails for clarification to Mr. Johnson at NPR by Free Russia Foundation have not received response, nor has the NPR issued any public acknowledgement of this serious flaw with the interviewee’s objectivity.

For the past two years, major U.S. media outlets have extensively covered McLarty’s lobbying efforts promoting Nord Stream 2 and scrutinizing the shady dealings of its key employee Richard Burt on behalf of the gas consortium and Kremlin-connected oligarchs.

This incident is not an isolated glitch, but a part of an aggressive, well-funded and well-coordinated influence campaign waged by the Kremlin against the U.S. influence and targeting U.S. decision-makers and its general public. Free Russia Foundation staff has ran into Frances Burwell at events dedicated to Nord Stream 2 at the Atlantic Council, where she accompanied vocal supporters of the project including Friedbert Pfluger who has recently been exposed by the U.K. press for his dubious lobbying activity disguised as a scholar.

Free Russia Foundation experts have written about the corruption surrounding the Nord Stream 1 and 2 projects. We have also covered McLarty Associates as one of the enablers of the project in the West (see page 15 of our report). In our view, it is imperative that major media outlets like NPR meticulously verify affiliations of their guests for possible conflicts of interest in the future in order to avoid offering a bully pulpit to the Kremlin and its Western enablers in the US.

Free Russia Foundation joins global resistance to authoritarianism

Sep 19 2018

The annual Oslo Freedom Forum, which has taken place since 2009, was held in New York for the second time on Monday, September 17.

More

Marina Litvinenko: we are trying to stop the Russian propaganda machine

Sep 13 2018

Free Russia Foundation and the Atlantic Council organized this week an event with Marina Litvinenko – the widow of slain former intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko – and family friend Alexander Goldfarb, to discuss their defamation lawsuit against Russian TV channels in the U.S. The panel discussion, held on Tuesday, September 11, also considered Russia’s use of the disinformation to discredit accusations over the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal.

More

Russian foreign policy: disruption and reflection of domestic policies

Jun 18 2018

On Thursday, June 14, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think-tank, organized a panel discussion with Russian opposition leaders to explore U.S.-Russia relations in Vladimir Putin’s fourth term as president.

More

Last Address: a civic initiative to commemorate victims of Soviet repressions 

Jun 10 2018

On Monday, June 4, the Kennan’s Institute, a Washington-based think-tank, organized a panel to introduce “The Last Address” project – a civic initiative to commemorate the victims of repressions in the Soviet Union which originated in Russia and is gradually spreading to other countries. The panelists talked about the origins, success, and challenges of the initiative.

More

Economic stagnation widens gap between Russian authorities and people

May 25 2018

On Friday, May 18, Free Russia Foundation and Atlantic Council organized an expert panel to discuss the politics and economics of Vladimir Putin’s fourth term as president. Experts expect further economic stagnation, with no structural economic reforms in sight, and discussed the growing gap between the Russian government and citizens.

More