Russian lobbying has passed through different stages in its evolution since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1991-1993, the system dominated by state structures transformed into one dominated by private actors. When oil prices were low and the Russian economy was in transition, it was mostly about investment consulting and attracting financial support. Then in the mid- 1990s and mid-2000s, the “golden age” of private Russian lobbying arrived, with dozens of entities pursuing their interests abroad, fighting anti-dumping investigations and trying to lift trade barriers. After that, starting in 2005, Russian lobbying was basically nationalized. The number of private businesses developing lobbying campaigns abroad dropped and state-controlled mammoths arrived on the stage. This trend reflected the changes in Russian domestic political and economic structure. Today the main objective of Russian entities lobbying activities is mostly about ending Western sanctions. Brussels interest representation is mostly done via different advisory boards and government relations offices. Working with Western consultants, however, will not help resolving major issues, such as economic sanctions against Russian companies. Lobbying is just an extra instrument - the resolution lies in the field of politics.

Over the long term, Russia has to establish a credible presence in the EU. Today, Russia lacks the support of European domestic groups or high-ranking government officials. In order to establish a credible domestic support in the West, Russia should build strong ties in the academic field. Russia has to support interest in Russian Studies at Western universities and think tanks. Future political leaders, journalists and scholars should have better understanding of Russian culture, history and politics.

EU Level Russian Interest Representation

The EU Transparency Register lists 16 organisations from Russia.

List of Russian organisations on the Transparency Register:

  1. Gazprom
  2. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
  3. Lukoil
  4. Non-Profit Partnership Esvero
  5. JSC ‘Inter RAO UES’ Representative Office
  6. Novolipetsk Steel
  7. Consulting Agency ‘Rumyantsev & Partners’ LLC
  8. Kaspersky Lab
  9. Association of Russian Vodka Producers
  10. Moscow State Pedagogical University
  11. ACIG Group of Companies
  12. Association of European Businesses
  13. Atomenergopromsbyt
  14. Coleman Services UK
  15. JSC Atomenergoprom
  16. Private Institution of Atomic Energy Power Corporation Rusatom Int’l Network

National Level (Source TI International Russia)


  1. Sberbank Europe AG:  Lobbying activities of Sberbank Europe AG is carried out directly as a subsidiary of its parent company in the Austrian market. It is a banking group of nine other subsidiary banks and it has a presence in eleven markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Sberbank Europe AG’s aim is to build sustainable bridges between Russia and the European markets. Sberbank Europe AG is 100% owned by Sberbank Russia. Sberbank uses in-house corporate lobbyists to conduct its lobbying activities. Lobbyists: Alexey Bogatov, Chief Risk Officer; Gerhard Randa, CEO of Sberbank Europe AG.
  2. OMV Aktiengesellschaft. OMV is an international integrated oil & gas company based in Vienna, which operates in the upstream and downstream business. It has a joint stake with Gazprom in the expansion of the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH), which is poised to become the largest gas hub in continental Europe in the next few years. OMV is the major partner of Gazprom in Austria. In September 2015, Gazprom and OMV signed an Agreement on main terms and conditions of an asset swap, enabling the participation of Gazprom in assets of OMV. OMV uses in-house corporate lobbyists to conduct its lobbying activities. Lobbyists: Maria Mittermair, Head of Public Affairs; Michaela Jarosch, Head of Vienna Office International & Governmental Relations; Ines Schneider, Head of Gas Regulatory Affairs.

European Union

  1. PJSC Gazprom. PJSC Gazprom with its headquarters in Moscow is a global energy company which is basically focused on geological exploration, production, transportation, storage, processing and marketing of gas and other hydrocarbons as well as electric power, heat energy production and distribution. More than 50% of its shares belong to the Russian government. Lobbying method: Representative office, in-house lobbyists and trade/business/professional associations. Lobbyists: Mr. Mikhail Lebedev, Head of EU Affairs Unit, Gazprom Representative office in Belgium.
  2. Sass Consulting AG - Communications and Strategic Relations. Sass Consulting AG provides clients with consultancy services in the area of public relations, public affairs, and reputation building and lobbying at EU level and in several countries and improves mutual understanding between political decision-makers and enterprises. The scope of its services includes, but is not limited to lobbying at EU level. Interests  lobbied include : Nord Stream AG, JSC Russian Railways and JSC Rusatom Overseas et al. Lobbying method: Professional consultancy. Lobbyist: Sebastian Sass, Owner/Director.
  3. Brunswick Group LLP. Brunswick is an international advisory company that helps businesses and other organizations to address critical communications challenges. Brunswick Brussels office focuses on EU public and regulatory affairs, media relations, corporate reputation building and support during competition regulatory processes. Interests lobbied: Nord Stream. Lobbying method: Professional consultancy Lobbyist: Philippe Blanchard, Managing Partner, in charge of EU relations.


  1. Assemblée des Chambres Françaises de Commerce et d’Industrie. The Union of Chambers of Commerce (Assemblée des Chambres Françaises de Commerce et d’Industrie) is comprised of 152 chambers at the national, regional and municipal levels, and at the international level of the 113 chambers, operating in eighty-three countries around the world . The Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce (CCI France Russie) unites more than 450 members and states lobbying through the Economic Council Chamber as one of three main aims of its activities (including consultations and presentations to the French and Russian public and political figures). In addition, one of the Commerce and Industry Chambers of France, Paris Chamber of Commerce in the region Ile-de-France, has its office in Moscow and is cited as the official partner of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce. Interests lobbied include Gazprombank, Sberbank CIB, MTS, Rosbank, VTB, CO-Vostok, Rosgosstrakh. Lobbying method: Meetings with deputies, parliamentary hearings. Lobbyists: André Marcon, President; Jérôme Pardigon, Director of Institutional Relations.
  2. Association Française Independente d’Éléctricité et du Gaz. The French independent association of electricity and gas (Association Française Independente d’Électricité et du Gaz, AFIEG) includes the French subsidiaries of major European operators in the field of electricity and gas, which joined the market at least 10 years ago. In total, the association represents the interests of eight companies: Alpiq, BKW, Enel, E.On, Gazprom Energy, Vattenfall, Enovos, NovaWatt. Interests lobbied:  A subsidiary of “Gazprom” Gazprom Energy and other members of the association. Lobbying method: Participation in the hearings of the Commission on energy prices monitoring; organization of meetings with deputies and distribution of information among deputies (letters, position papers) about the situation on the electricity and gas markets. Lobbyist: Marc Boudier, President.


  1. German-Russian Economic Alliance (Deutsch-Russische Wirtschaftsallianz). The German-Russian Economic Alliance (GRWA)is an Association representing German and Russian companies by promoting bilateral economic cooperation based on a common interest. The Association is aimed at deepening Russian-German economic partnership. Interests lobbied: those of the alliance’s members: German and Russian companies with the specific aim of improving bilateral economic ties. Field of business activity: Advanced technology, aviation, medium enterprises. GRWA receives support from various Russian organizations including Volga-Dnepr Group, Gazprom, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Board member Mikhail Prokudin also serves on the senior management team of ACIG Group of Companies, which manages the assets of Russian companies such as the government-owned corporation Rusnano Group and ANCOR Group. Lobbying method: Collective advocacy and lobbying. Lobbyists: Dr. Vitaly M. Shmelkov, First CEO; Lutz Beyer,  Second CEO; Manfred Klotz, Treasurer;  Julia Bondarenko, Mikhail Prokudin.
  2. Zukunft ERDGAS e.V / Future NATURAL GAS Zukunft ERDGAS e.V is a German association that lists German-based Russian companies among its members. It is an initiative of German gas industry, which promotes industrial use of natural gas to reach the full economic potential and possibilities for its future usage. Interests lobbied: Those of all members (including Russian companies). Zukunft Erdgas e. V. lists some Russian companies as its members such as Gazprom Germania GmbH as well as Wingas GmbH , a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom . Lobbying method: Collective advocacy and lobbying Lobbyists: Thomas Bareiß ,MP, Coordinator for Energy Policy; Dr. Timm Kehler, CEO;  Timo Vehrs, Supervisory Board member, Director of Business at Gazprom Germania GmbH.


  1. Aughinish Alumina Limited. Aughinish Alumina Limited (AAL) is RUSAL’s largest aluminia producer, based in Ireland. Interests lobbied: Energy and natural resources, economic development and industry, finance, EU affairs, quota setting on CO2 emissions. Aughinish Alumina Limited lobbies RUSAL’s interest. Lobbyists: Sean Garland; Aileen O’Connell. Professional lobbyists hired to consult Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.


  1. The Associazione Bancaria Italiana  signed a cooperation agreement with the Association of Russian Banks in 2005 . The agreement provides for the exchange of information on international financial standards, international accounting standards, banking technologies, products and services, banking and security technology . ABI’s projects include EvaBeta Russia & CIS, a risk assessment firm, and the National Bureau of Credit History. Interests lobbied: Those of the Association of Russian Banks  Lobbyists: Edouardo Narducci, President of Evabeta Italia; Alexander Gorin, President of Evabeta Russia; Sergei Grigorian, Managing Director.


  1. PJSC “Gazprom” was a major shareholder of the company Lietuvos Dujos, one of the largest Lithuanian companies in terms of natural gas imports. Interests  lobbied: PJSC Gazprom.Gazprom bought out major shares in Lithuanian companies  Lietuvos dujos and Amber Grid and now controls 37,06% of the shares. Lobbyist: Viktoras Valentukevičius, gaz & oil expert.


  1. GDF Suez (ENGIE Energie Nederland N.V.) GDF Suez has changed its name to ENGIE Energie Nederland N.V. on 1 February 2016. ENGIE Energie Nederland N.V. is the subsidiary company of ENGIE Group . Gazprom Energy, a subsidiary of PJSC Gazprom is one of the largest suppliers of ENGIE Group: ENGIE’s supply contracts with Gazprom Export represent about 22% of the Group’s long-term supplies in Europe. Interests lobbied: GDF Suez, Energie Nederland and its members (including Gazprom Energy ), Cofely, Electrabel. Lobbyist: B.H.H. Dobbelstein, public relations agent.


  1. Norica Holding S.a r.l. Acron Group is one of the leading vertically integrated mineral fertilizer producers in Russia and worldwide. The Group has chemical plants in Russia and China, produces phosphate raw materials in Russia and develops potash deposits in Russia and Canada. In Poland, Acron Group lobbies its interests through a subsidiary – “Grupa Azoty” the largest Polish and one of the largest European chemical companies, and thus is the largest gas consumer in Poland. Acron Group purchased 20% of shares, and a large part of the raw materials is imported from Russia. Interests lobbied: Acron Group.  Undeclared Lobbying method: Through a subsidiary “Norica Holding” S.a r.l. (registered in Luxemburg) as well as its sub-divisions Rainbee Holdings Limited and Opansa Enterprises Limited (both registered in Cyprus) Lobbyists: Vladimir Kunitsky, President; Oscar Walters, Senior Vice President.
  2. EuRoPol GAZ. In 1993, a Russian-Polish enterprise “EuRoPol GAZ” was established for financing and building a system of transit gas pipelines in Poland. The company owns the gas pipeline “Yamal - Europe” in Poland, the length of which is 684 km. Now “Gazprom” owns 48% of “EuRoPol GAZ” shares. Interests lobbied: PJSC Gazprom. Undeclared Lobbying method: Through a subsidiary “EuRoPolGaz ” Lobbyists: Evgeny Vasiukov,  3rd Vice President; Alexandr Medvedev, Chairman of the Supervisory Commission.
  3. Novatek Polska. Novatek Polska is part of OAO NOVATEK, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer and one of the largest natural gas producers in the world. Novatek Polska deals with the distribution and supply of liquefied petroleum gas in Poland. Interests lobbied: PJSC Novatek. Undeclared Lobbying method: through a subsidiary, “Novatek Polska”.  Lobbyist: Bratoń Dariusz Piotr, board chairman.


  1. Geoplin d.o.o. Ljubljana. Geoplin d.o.o. Ljubljana is Gazprom Export’s partner in the Slovenian market and the country’s largest importer of natural gas. It has an ongoing agreement with Gazprom to supply 830 million cubic meters of gas annually to Slovenia until  2018 . Interests lobbied: PJSC Gazprom.  Undeclared Lobbying method: High-level meetings take place between Gazprom and the Slovenian government. Lobbyists: Alexei Miller, Chairman of Gazprom; Alenka Bratušek,  Slovenian Prime Minister.


  1. Edelman is a communications agency, which assisted Alfa Group and LetterOne from November 2013 to February 2015. Mikhail Fridman is one of the main shareholders and AlfaGroup Chairman of the Supervisory Board, as well as one of the founders of LetterOne. Interests  lobbied: Alfa Group Consortium Industry. Lobbying method: By contracting the professional communications agency – Edelman Spain SA  Lobbyist: Miguel Ángel Aguirre, CEO of Edelman Spain SA.

United Kingdom

  1. Bell Pottinger LLP.  Bell Pottinger LLP’s is an international full service business, specializing in corporate, financial and political communications. Gazprom EP International, a subsidiary of Gazprom was listed among its clients from October to December 2015. Interests  lobbied: Natural resources, export of gas, tariff setting, import quotas.  International Lobbyist: James Henderson, Director of the Natural Gas Research Program.
  2. Edelman Public Affairs. Edelman is a professional communications agency, which represented Alfa Group and LetterOne from November 2013 to February 2015. Mikhail Fridman is one of the main shareholders and is the Chairman of AlfaGroup Supervisory Board. Besides that, he is also one of the founders of LetterOne. Interests lobbied: Oil and gas, commercial and investment banking, asset management, insurance, retail trade, telecommunications, water utilities and special situation investments. 

Add new comment