Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who helped block the sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 project, received donations for his campaign from corporate PACs involved with two of the companies in Europe that helped with the cost of the pipeline, according to a new report from the Washington Free Beacon.
It was reported that the main company for ENGIE North America and a subsidiary for BASF are both part of the group of five companies that did the financing for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to transport natural gas to Germany from Russia.
The contributions to Chuck Schumer came during aggressive lobbying efforts in Washington over sanctions on the 764-mile oil pipeline. The five companies in Europe that support Nord Stream 2—Uniper, Wintershall, Shell, ENGIE, and OMV—have spent millions of dollars on lobbying companies to block sanctions.
Nord Stream 2 AG, the Swiss firm that is building the pipeline, lobbies the U.S Congress through Dem. donor Vincent Roberti. Roberti gave the maximum donations of $5,800 to Senator Schumer and other Senate Dems last year, as reported by Axios. Thomas McLarty, the founder of McLarty Inbound, gave $2,500 to Chuck Schumer in April.
ENGIE North America is a subsidiary of the French company ENGIE, which donated to Schumer’s campaign on Sept. 9. BASF, the main company of Wintershall, contributed to Schumer on September 22. In 2020 ENGIE donated to Chuck Schumer’s campaign, while BASF donated to the leader of the Senate in 2016, according to FEC records. All the members of the European consortium loaned one billion euros to Nord Stream 2 AG in 2017. The Russian state oil company Gazprom Nord Stream 2 AG’s CEO, Matthias Warnig, controls Nord Stream 2 AG and is a former officer of the East German secret police.
All of this occurred as Chuck Schumer reportedly stopped requests from the Senate Republicans for legislation to enforce sanctions on the pipeline in Russia after Biden waived sanctions last year. Biden had said at that time, that the pipeline was nearing completion and imposing sanctions would be “counter-productive” for European relations.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) tried to get legislation passed earlier this month but failed after Democrat Senate used the filibuster, which they are trying to get rid of, to block his legislation.The filibuster required 60 votes to end the debate and move to a final vote but the bill only had 55 votes.
The Free Beacon stated that neither ENGIE North America nor Schumer’s office returned a comment request. A spokesman for BASF said that its American subsidiary will not lobby Congress members on the Nord Stream 2 and that Wintershall doesn’t have a presence in the United States. “Any implied connection between Nord Stream 2 and our Employee PAC donations is incorrect,” the spokesman said.