The active phase of the global competition for energy resources has completely changed the geopolitics in Europe. Most EU members faced with the problem of providing the guaranteed heating to its citizens. The European Community was forced to urgently restructure its energy security strategy. The reason for this is the aggression of “Gazprom”.
All business rules argue that consumer reliance on a single source of supply is an imminent threat to a consumer itself. We are talking about the fact how the whole European Union underestimated this threat and has been caught by the energy trap by Gazprom? Why the diversification policy didn’t work out?
The matter is that the EU and the international community as a whole were actually deceived. Mythical reliability of Gazprom has been skillfully fabricated by the masters of black PR. There were spent the astronomical amounts of money for making a good wrapper to a “gas-candy”.
Ketchum belongs to PR companies which proactively cooperate with official Moscow and Gazprom.
Ketchum is one of the world’s leading PR-agencies. Founded in 1923 in Pittsburgh (USA) it has 74 regional offices and 56 affiliated companies in 70 countries worldwide. The main areas of work are brand marketing, corporate PR, healthcare and technology. It is a part of the transnational corporation “Omnicom Group Inc.”, which is specialized on advertising, marketing and corporate communications. The corporation is headed by Rob Flaherty (CEO, President) and Ray Kotcher (the Head of the Board).
As can be seen from the picture Ketchum actively advises “Gazprom export” via Venable company, particularly in the field of energy policy within the EU. Many lawyers employed by the company were the members of the U.S. Congress in the past. The Head of Venable is W. Nordwind; the responsible partner in Ketchum is K. Jivon. Contractual fees amount ai$28K per month.
According to the latest Foreign Agents Registration Act, Russia financed Ketchum for more than $1.5 million over the six months between June and November 2013, for “covering the costs of providing services in the interests of the Russian Federation”. Thus, in order to hide their own involvement m, the money was received not directly from Russia, but from an affiliated company in the UK called “Ketchum Limited”, as well as “Gazprom export”.
The Kremlin officially denies the widespread reports in the media about transferring $23 million to Ketchum between 2006 and 2012 from the state budget. However the Putin’s press-secretary DmitriyPeskov confirmed that cooperation with Ketchum continue indirectly: according to him, the company pro vidd services to the one of commercial banks (according to some sources the funds are transferred through the “EurofinanceMosnarbank” ($359’000 in the first half of 2012), which aims to increase the investment attractiveness and the government “under this non-budgetary contract sometimes use the help to its work of Ketchum agency”. However, Peskov refused to comment the payments for PR-services made by Gazprom amounted at $17 million (between 2006 and 2012) calling it as “internal matters that the company has as an independent organization”.
The detailed spectrum of the services that were provided by Ketchum to Gazprom recorded in the Foreign Agents Registration Act. In particular, according to 2013 documents the agency activities in the interests of Gazprom and the Russian Federation were the following:
Distribution of Gazprom press-releases and BLUE FUEL corporate newsletters to investors, politicians, energy corporations etc.
Organization of round tables, interviews with representatives of the Russian gas consortium (with potential investors invited and positive coverage by the world’s leading media);
Distribution of positive statements made by Russian officials (including by Gazprom CEO Miller in October 2013 at increasing gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine’s debt for natural
– Positive informational support of the events related to Russia presidency in G20 (ministerial meetings), conduct the international summits by Russia, forums, round tables, etc. (including the International Economic Forum, Summit of Gas Exporting Countries, the International Discussion Club “Valdai”, “Open Innovation” Forum, spring meetings of the IMF/WB, BRICS summits etc., foreign visits of Russian officials (the one of I. Shuvalov to U.S., V.Surkov to the UK, the Russian delegation to Japan).
The abovementioned information strategy of Gazprom is a logical continuation of the Kremlin policy aimed on monopolization the energy markets and driving Europe into a hopeless situation. In this case, the EU is not able to give up the “gas needle” and pursue the independent geopolitics, including promotion the European interests in the East.