Paid by Putin

thomas_graham060109.jpgAndrei Piontkovsky has an incendiary column published through Project Syndicate alleging the economic interests of some Russia commentators in the United States.  This one is bound to raise some controversy.

The Kremlin’s achievements in securing the help of Americans willing to offer their influence are equally impressive. Indeed, the Obama administration’s Russia policy is being nurtured with advice from people who have no official position in the administration, but close business ties to Russia and the Kremlin: Henry Kissinger, James A. Baker, Thomas Graham, and Dimitri Simes. The first two are major geopolitical figures; Graham and Simes are respected as outstanding Russia specialists. They write key reports for the administration, and shuttle between Moscow and Washington, coordinating the parameters of the Obama administration’s effort to “reset” the bilateral relationship.

Like Schroeder, all these people are not economically disinterested. Baker is a consultant for the two companies at the commanding heights of the Russian economy, Gazprom and Rosneft. The Kissinger Associates lobbying group, whose Russian section is headed by Graham, feeds in to the Kissinger-Primakov working group, a quasi-private-sector effort, blessed by Putin, to deepen ties between Russia and the United States.

Continue reading here. Photo above is of Thomas Graham (source: Flickr)