"Servant of the People" hires American lobbyists to establish relations with the US and the EU - Schemes
Lobbyists of the American company "Finsbury Glover Hering" in 2021 will advise and support the "Servant of the People" party for 50 thousand dollars a month.
The Center for Transatlantic Interaction and Dialogue, a non-governmental organization founded by two people's deputies from the Servant of the People faction, signed a contract with the American company Finsbury Glover Hering in February.
Finsbury Glover Hering should "provide government relations" and provide "strategic advice and support to the NGO and the Servant of the People political party to facilitate dialogue, exchange, and other interactions between members of the Ukrainian parliament and their counterparts and other officials in the United States and international organizations."
The agreement states that this "may also include lobbying, promotion, preparation and distribution of information materials."
The non-governmental organization bears all unscheduled expenses related to transportation, food, accommodation, conference calls, etc.
The cost of lobbying services, according to the contract, is 50 thousand dollars a month, and the agreement itself will be valid until the end of the year. In case of its full implementation, it will total 550 thousand dollars (over 15 million hryvnias).
The contract will be valid until December 31, 2021, and might be extended by agreement of the parties.
Tkachenko hasn't commented yet, and Shinkarenko only knows that Kostiuchenko heads the NGO and allegedly doesn't know what the organization does and who finances it, because it's not his business.
After the publication, People's Deputy Stanislav Kostiuchenko's deputy sent the following comment to Schemes: "The Center for Transatlantic Interaction and Dialogue is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve Ukraine's relations with the United States, the European Union, and other democracies. At this critical moment for Ukraine, the Center for Transatlantic Interaction and Dialogue has engaged FGH Holdings to advocate for important issues related to Ukraine's territorial integrity and economic independence. The Center for Transatlantic Interaction and Dialogue, a non-governmental organization, will raise funds from private sources to carry out its current activities. Our followers and partners are not indifferent Ukrainians who are ready to support our activities and the country on the path of European integration. We don't plan to attract money from big business, oligarchs, and multinational companies."
"You can officially pay for the services of lobbyists in two ways. The first one is that the party pays for specific services from its own account and declares how much it paid, when, to whom, and so on. In the financial report, we'll see who financed the party and, consequently, at whose expense they made the payments. The second way is that a third party or legal entity can pay for such services. In this case, the party must also declare such expenses, as the law interprets this as a sponsorship fee in the form of goods, works, and services. Here, the report should indicate who paid, to whom, how much, and for what," Ihor Feshchenko, an analyst at the Chesno public movement, said.
The report of the "Servant of the People" party for the fourth quarter of 2020, when the NGO was established, hasn't been published on the NAPC website yet because of the quarantine in the country.