Who were those Useful Idiots…
Strategically, Russia would be crazy if it weren’t funding Green Groups to scare the West out of using its own resources and hobbling its own energy grid.
Russia has the motive, the means and the opportunity. Ask not whether Putin was funding some Greens, but whether Putin would not be.
These dark money trails across international borders are almost impossible to pin down, but there are clues, leaks and links suggesting Russia was sending hundreds of millions of dollars to support anti-fossil-fuel Green environmentalists.
Yesterday Russian troops did a hostile takeover of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. So in that spirit it’s time to ask if Russia was funding Western Greens was it preparing for War or just worried about walruses?
Would Good Global Citizen Russia say No Thanks to a chance to gain dominant control of a key strategic market?
The Wall Street Journal / The Australian
A mere 15 years ago, countries in the EU produced more gas than Russia exported. Yet European production has plunged by more than half during the past decade. Putin has happily filled the supply gap.
In 2020 Russia exported nearly three times more gas than Europe produced. What’s amazing is that Europe increased its reliance on Russian gas even after Gazprom repeatedly suspended pipeline exports to Ukraine.
Europe still had the gas, it just needed to be convinced not to use it:
Europe had an estimated 966 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable wet natural gas resources as of 2013, about enough to supply the EU for 60 years. Much of this is located in eastern Europe, including Ukraine, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. But France, Britain, The Netherlands and Germany are also sitting on shale deposits.
In 2014, a NATO bigwig and former Prime Minister of Denmark claimed the Russians were fuelling the opposition to frakking.
Former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen blamed Russia for fuelling the fracking opposition. “Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas,” he noted in 2014.
“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” said Rasmussen…
According to DeSmog (remember them?) this was revealed at a London’s Chatham House event in 2014 and was not supposed to be leaked (or maybe it was?). DeSmog’s entire ammunition against this quote is that Rassmussen later said “it was my interpretation”, which confirms that he said it.
Four years later US congressmen were releasing reports describing potential funding chains from Russia to non-profit environmental groups.
Kevin Mooney, Washington Examiner, June 14, 2018
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who chairs the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, released a report in March that explores Russia’s motives for disrupting America’s energy sector.
“Russia benefits from stirring up controversy about U.S. energy production,” Smith said in a press release. “U.S. energy exports to European countries are increasing, which means they will have less reason to rely upon Russia for their energy needs. This, in turn, will reduce Russia’s influence on Europe to Russia’s detriment and Europe’s benefit. That’s why Russian agents attempted to manipulate Americans’ opinions about pipelines, fossil fuels, fracking and climate change. The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy.”
Smith’s report describes the Russian scheme to use nonprofit entities to influence and sway U.S. public policy and public opinion against fracking. The evidence in the report shows that Russia has been using U.S. environmental groups to spread what Smith aptly describes as “propaganda” to undermine America’s natural gas revolution.
The SeaChange Foundation, in San Francisco has apparently given out “about $400 million” between 2007 and 2015 to “environmental groups that have worked to block fracking and pipeline construction that make natural gas development and distribution possible.” Downstream recipients include the Tides Foundation, which received $8 million, and the U.S. Climate Action Network ( $7.3 million). SeaChange also gave $30 million to the Energy Foundation which then funded the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
A 29-year CIA veteran Kenneth L. Stiles analyzed the links, and followed the money, as much as anyone could. The dollars track back from local Virginia green groups right through one or two layers of NGO’s and back to opaque Foundations in Bermuda which were set up by people who also used to work with a Russian Minister and friend of Putin.
Could be a coincidence…
Kevin Mooney, Aug 25, 2017, TheDailySignal
Two of these local environmental groups “are, without a doubt, agents of influence to Moscow through [a] networking system of shell companies and foundations,” Stiles said.
The Russians “executed a political agenda with little or no paper trail,” the letter explains, by using a Bermuda-based shell company, Klein Ltd., “to funnel tens of millions of dollars” to a San Francisco-based nonprofit called the Sea Change Foundation that focuses on climate change.
The Sea Change Foundation then moves the money in the form of grants to other nonprofit environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.
Klein Ltd, the shell company that supplies the money operates out of Bermuda and isn’t required to disclose the identity of donors. Klein itself was formed by a law firm in Bermuda called Wakefield Quin. The top administrators of that, in turn, apparently have also held top positions in investment groups owned by a Russian Minister and friend of Putin:
The Russian connection with Klein, and from there to Virginia, comes in the form of Bermuda-based law firm Wakefield Quin, which was instrumental in Klein’s formation in March 2011. The law firm shares the same address with Klein and 20 other companies, congressional investigators determined.
Wakefield Quin’s top lawyers and administrators have held what the lawmakers’ letter to the treasury secretary describes as “directorship positions” with an investment group owned by Leonid Reiman, “a Russian minister of telecommunications and a longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
Having friends of Putin helping you save your environment takes on a whole new flavour now.