anti-trust, Cheney, CIA, Crimea, Energy Solutions, EXIMBANK, Exxon, Exxon Mobil, Fluor, Halliburton, KGB, Kimmelman, Kissinger, Kukes, oil, petroleum, Putin, Rex Tillerson, Rosneft, Russia, Sakhalin, sanctions, Semen Kukes, Semyon Kukes, Simon Kukes, TNK, Trump Parc, Trump Properties, Trump Victory, Tyumen Oil, US Secretary of State, US-Russia Business Council, WCS, Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos
Who is this Simon Kukes who donated $275,700 to Trump’s Campaign? What does he want?
People need to ask who this Simon aka Semyon aka Semen Kukes is, who appears to have had both close ties to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and to have been at least tolerated by Putin, having replaced a Putin foe at Yukos. In April of 2000: http://www.exim.gov/news/ex-im-bank-approves-financing-for-us-oil-industry-exports-russias-tyumen-oil-company. In December 2004, Yukos’ core asset, Yuganskneftegaz, was confiscated and sold to Russian State owned Rosneft via an intermediary.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukos
ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson and Rosneft aspiration to create a petroleum mega cartel is being partially blocked due to sanctions because of Russia’s invasion of Crimea. ExxonMobil operates and co-owns the Rosneft Sakhalin project, despite sanctions. (Tillerson, Trump’s Secretary of State nominee, only resigned as CEO less than one month ago). Trump has started fetching excuses to lift sanctions against Russia.
“NEW YORK. Signing an agreement between the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK) and Eximbank USA. Vladimir Putin with TNK President Simon Kukes. 8 September 2000. http://www.kremlin. ru CC-BY-3.0 via open secrets-wikimedia
What is the US-Russia Business Council? Kukes who gave $275,700 to Trump used to serve on its board. And former Goldman Sachs become nuclear waste man Doug Kimmelman (EnergySolutions) who donated between $285,000 and $335,000 to Trump has ties with it. Daniel Yergin who currently serves on the US-Russia Business Council board for IHS Markit is listed as Senior Advisor to Doug Kimmelman (Sr. Partner Energy Capital Partners, which owns EnergySolutions). Kimmelman’s EnergySolutions holds almost complete monopoly on the US “low-level” nuclear waste sector and held a fund-raiser, and gave around $300,000 to Trump. Currently the US DOJ is examining EnergySolutions attempts to take over competitor WCS, which would help explain the huge donation to Trump. Fluor, which is big in nuclear waste and oil and gas, is also a member of the US-Russia Business Council. Dow Chemical whose CEO Trump appointed as manufacturing advisor is a member (Dow is trying to merge with DuPont and should come under scrutiny). Other US-Russia Business Council members include Parker Drilling, whose board Kukes has served on, Alfa Bank, and Gazprom Export, not to mention NUKEM. Furthermore, Neil Duffin of ExxonMobil serves as a board member. Remember that the CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson, has been nominated as Secretary of State by Putin – whoops I mean by Trump. Kimmelman has donated even more to Stanford, where Condi Rice is a Hoover Fellow. Henry Kissinger’s “Kissinger Associates” is member. While these amounts pale in comparison to the $2 million given by Robert Mercer of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies when Trump became candidate in July, Mercer’s donations went to a group that was primarily anti-Hillary (Make Am No. 1), as was Cherna Moskowitz’s $ 1 million. Kukes and Kimmelman donated to Trump. Read more about the Mercers here: https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-11/rebekah-mercer-daughter-of-major-donor-named-to-trump-role. Like Kukes, Rebekah reportedly lives with French husband Sylvain Mirochnikoff in a Trump building. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebekah_Mercer_(philanthropist) The biggest supporter, of course, is Sheldon Adelson casino magnate.
On March 13, 2001, Tyumen oil announced: “Tyumen Oil CEO Simon Kukes Becomes First Russian to Join U.S.-Russia Business Council’s Board of Directors“. They noted that “Among other members of the Council’s board are several with which Tyumen Oil has business ties either directly or through affiliated companies: Edgar Ortiz, president and chief executive officer of Halliburton Energy Services Group; E. Neville Isdell, CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling; and George L. Allen, consultant for Eastern and Central Europe of ABB.” http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/tyumen-oil-ceo-simon-kukes-becomes-first-russian-to-join-us-russia-business-councils-board-of-directors-71634092.html
While OpenSecrets research got everyone started on this topic, everyone needs to dig deeper regarding Kukes and other Trump large donors.
“Russian-born oil magnate gives big to Trump Victory
by Ashley Balcerzak on September 26, 2016
Donald Trump has an interesting relationship with Russia, to say the least. He’s praised Vladimir Putin. His former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had business dealings with pro-Russia leaders in Ukraine. U.S. intelligence officials are investigating whether one of Trump’s foreign policy advisers met with senior Russia officials to discuss lifting economic sanctions in the event of a Trump presidency.
Here’s another tie: Simon Grigorievich Kukes, former chief executive of a now-defunct Russian oil company once owned by the government, who contributed more than $150,000 to Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee, Trump Victory. This is the first election cycle he has contributed, according to FEC documents. Kukes gave $2,700 directly to Trump’s campaign in March, and then a total of $149,000 to Trump Victory in June and July; another $2,700 of that went to Trump directly, while the remainder was divided between the Republican National Committee’s main account, its convention account and its headquarters account.
Kukes headed Yukos Corp. for a year starting in June 2003, replacing Putin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the wealthiest man in Russia at the time. In what was widely seen as a political prosecution, Khodorkovsky was charged with fraud and sent to prison for 10 years. An international court ruled in 2014 that Putin’s government would have to pay $50 billion for using tax claims to take control of and bankrupt Yukos. The court said the government was trying to silence Khodorkovsky, who was using his riches to fund opposition parties to Putin.
Born in the then-U.S.S.R., Kukes immigrated to the U.S. in his twenties and became an American citizen, but has gone back and forth between Russia and the U.S. since then. Kukes served as president and CEO of Russia’s Tyumen Oil Company from 1998 to 2003. After his stint at Yukos, he was general director of ZAO Samara-Nafta, a Russia-based oil producing company and subsidiary of Lukoil, one of Russia’s largest oil companies, and was a partner at Hess Corporation, a New York-based oil and gas company.
Although he listed his occupation as “retired” in FEC documents, Kukes appears to be busy: He’s CEO of NAFTA Consulting, a firm that advises American and Russian oil and gas companies on how to do business together. And he’s also on the board of Leverate, an on-demand software company for foreign exchange brokers.
Kukes has another link with Trump: He bought a five-room condominium at Trump Parc in Midtown West for $1.7 million in 2000, according to the Observer, (which is published by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.)
Trump isn’t the only beneficiary of Kukes’ funds: He also contributed the max to Elizabeth Cheney’s campaign for Wyoming’s congressional seat in June. Cheney is the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney.
Neither Kukes nor the Trump campaign had responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.
Correction, Sept. 27: This post has been corrected to say that Simon Kukes is a former partner at Hess Oil, not a current partner. We regret the error.
Research director Sarah Bryner contributed to this post.“. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/09/russian-born-oil-magnate-gives-big-to-trump-victory (Emphasis our own).
Difficult to find Norex complaint alleging that Kuke has mafia ties and trying to sue under US RICO. The US courts decided that this should be tried in Russia: http://enforcement.trade.gov/download/russia-nme-status/posthearing/marks-sokolov/norex-complaint-040802.pdf Save it quickly in case the Trump team deletes it. One more litmus test!
“Simon Grigorievich Kukes is a Russian-born chemist and retired oil industry businessman. He emigrated to the USA to work in the oil industry in the late seventies, and returned to Russia with AMOCO in 1995. He became vice president at YUKOS, president of TNK-BP from 1998 until 2003, and returned to head Yukos, replacing Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Officially retired he is still consulting oil businesses. He has contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Elizabeth Cheney’s 2016 run for a congressional seat“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Kukes
Why would he be allowed to emigrate to work in the oil industry in the 1970s? That is weird. It was during the Cold War! “Simon G. Kukes (1947- ) a Russian-born American, has been named to replace Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky to head Russia’s largest oil company, Yukos (YukosSibneft Oil Company), the company said in a statement posted on its website. 4 November 2003 Kukes “has been nominated to head the board of directors, the statement said. … Kukes, a member of Yukos’ board of directors, emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1970s but has since returned to Russia. He once worked for Russian oil company TNK.” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Simon_G._Kukes
Who IS Simon Kukes?
People need to ask who this Simon aka Semyon aka Semen Kukes is, who appears to have had both close ties to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and to have been tolerated by Putin. http://www.exim.gov/news/ex-im-bank-approves-financing-for-us-oil-industry-exports-russias-tyumen-oil-company
Why and how did Kukes leave Russia to come to the US in the 1970s? Was he among the Jewish people who fled Russia at the time? Or was he a CIA asset? Or both? If he was a CIA asset was he a double agent since he appears to have been promoted or tolerated by former KGB agent President Putin? Is he kin to Putin’s alleged “kingmaker” Roman Abramovich? He also appears to have been close to BP which is part owner of majority Russian State owned Rosneft. Tillerson’s ExxonMobil is operator of Rosneft’s Sakhalin project. Is the US falling into the ownership of Russia or is Putin himself owned by British or American oil interests? Alternatively, has Putin tolerated these people simply because of lack of technological know-how? The father of the Koch brothers made his fortune in Stalinist Russia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_C._Koch Putin’s grandfather was reportedly the cook for Lenin and then Stalin, both of whom are believed to have been poisoned. Is Kukes kin to Sheldon Adelson to whom he bears a family resemblance?
Why is Russia so reliant upon foreign equipment? That is the best evidence that it is a kleptocratic state, only wishing to extract the maximum of riches, which they flaunt, which may be why they are Trump’s sort of people. The sort of wealth that Trump caters to is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to get honestly – legally maybe but ethically not. In 2014 Bloomberg observed: “Russia relies on companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd. for the latest technology and expertise it needs to develop an estimated $7.58 trillion in oil and natural gas resources that sprawl across nine time zones. Exploration and production companies like Exxon were expected to spend $51.7 billion in Russia this year, according to estimates from Barclays Capital Inc. — much of which would go to service and equipment companies such as Schlumberger and Halliburton.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-07-29/energy-companies-gear-up-for-more-pain-in-russia-with-sanctions. Thus the Russian state owned petroleum sector and President Putin seem to have had a lot at stake with the US elections. Nonetheless, the fact that Tillerson’s ExxonMobil is apparently still operating the Sakhalin project gives opportunity for them to give Russian State owned Rosneft the needed equipment by using other countries to by-pass sanctions. ExxonMobil has a long list of subsidiaries – pages worth – many in tax havens: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/trump-pick-tillersons-exxon-mobil-too-many-tax-haven-subsidiaries-to-count/
President Putin was Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000. He was Russian President from 2000 to 2008, and Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012, and has been President, again, since May 7, 2012. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin
A combination of 17 years as the face of Russia and a charismatic personality is probably one reason too many Americans have been willing to gloss over his dangerous flaws to the point of being willing lap-dogs to Putin. Or, is it that so many serfs from the old Russian Empire and Europe have been let into the US over the last 150 years? Serfs are bound to the land, meaning that their outlook is much more narrow than that of slaves. The US should have cut off immigration by the Civil War, and probably before. If that statement makes you angry, then you later arrivals PROVE that you believe in free speech and freedom and stop acting like serfs and boot-licking Putin. Or, apply to return home to mother-Russia. And, American was never a “white” country but mixed, until this later influx, which arrived mostly from the old Russian Empire and Eastern Europe, which also seems to be the origin of the worst of American racism. Furthermore, they waited until they could get free land stolen from the American Indians out west (in the east immigrants almost always had to purchase land), and until transportation became much easier with railroads and steamboats, though still not as easy as today. Even Martin Luther King criticized these policies which favored new immigrants over Black Americans who had been in the US for 400 years: http://youtu.be/RMLyhshxQc8 (Immigrants were also favored over many white Americans who fought in the Civil War. The huge southern planters with huge numbers of slaves were allowed to avoid the Confederate draft, and thus were allowed to land grab out west too. Those who fought in the Confederate army, sometimes unwillingly, were not allowed to land grab, even though they had been in America for hundreds of years.)
RFERL, in “Newsline – November 5, 2003” (Bush-Cheney were Pres-VP of the US) noted: “Embattled oil giant Yukos announced in Moscow on 4 November that U.S. national Simon Kukes will take over as chief executive to replace jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovskii, “Izvestiya” and other Russian media reported. The announcement came as the company raised the curtain on a new management team in an effort to distance itself from criminal investigations of shareholders, including Khodorkovskii, and related obstacles that have arisen in recent days and led to a plunge in Yukos’s share price. As a Russian-raised U.S. citizen, Kukes is less vulnerable to Russian prosecutors, the “Financial Times” noted on 3 November. A trained petrochemical engineer, Kukes led the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK), through its merger with British Petroleum (BP), the paper added. Kukes is one of three Americans” [citizens] “named to the Yukos board on 4 November. Kukes pledged to “keep everything the way it is. We will continue merging with Sibneft, and we will keep our obligations to shareholders,” according to the “Financial Times.” “Izvestiya” reported on 4 November that Khodorkovskii and his associates continue to control a majority stake in the company and determine its strategy. VY” http://www.rferl.org/a/1143036.html. Emphasis our own. With few, if any, exceptions, someone who obtains citizenship in adulthood cannot be considered “American” but rather merely an American citizen, whatever anyone wants to claim. Americanization is generally a multi-generational process.
From the Guardian, Monday 1 December 2003, regarding Putin’s apparent “kingmaker” Roman Abramovich:
“The Russian tax authorities have said that Mr Abramovich has nothing to fear from them but the attacks on Yukos and its former chief executive continue. Mr Khodorkovsky was charged last Thursday with an 11th unspecified offence relating to his conduct in 2000. On the same day the firm’s financial centre, Yukos Moscow, was raided and documents were taken away.“(“Abramovich tries to revive Yukos merger“, Monday 1 December 2003, by Terry Macalister: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/dec/01/russia.oilandpetrol
[Update note: Putin’s kingmaker seems to have been Berezovsky, with Abramovich as a Berezovsky associate. Abramovich has survived the Putin years, however, and Berezovsky did not and was found dead in the UK in 2013: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Berezovsky_(businessman) ]
“Simon Kukes Veimans boss and Hess partner in Russia. Formerly ran oil giant Yukos after Putins power grab“. “Hess Oil’s Russian Mob Problem” by Richard Behar, 6/06/2012, Forbes: http://www.forbes. com/forbes/2012/0625/feature-moscow-bochkarev-hess-oil-russian-mob-problem.html
“CIA bribery claim hits BP’s Russian merger”
“Simon Grigorievich Kukes, who was installed as the head of the Yukos oil empire after Putin’s government ousted one of his critics,..’ (“Trump will likely turn US foreign policy and military planning upside down” The Center for Public Integrity November 10, 2016 · 12:15 PM EST By R. Jeffrey Smith: http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-11-10/trump-will-likely-turn-us-foreign-policy-and-military-planning-upside-down
“Abramovich faces legal threat from Yukos over broken deal”
“The Yukos Oil Company became the YukosSibneft Oil Company on October 3, 2003, with the merger of Yukos and “a smaller rival, Sibneft…. [together] valued at $45 billion, [which] creates Russia’s largest oil and gas company and the world’s fifth largest private oil company.” http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/YukosSibneft_Oil_Company
Excerpted from “#5 – JRL 8173 – JRL Home From: “Bruce Marks” Subject: RICO V. RACKETEERS: STILL ALIVE AND WELL Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 RICO V. RACKETEERS: STILL ALIVE AND WELL“: “…the record included a document produced by the C.I.A. labeled “top secret” in which it is stated that defendant Simon Kukes, then of TNK, now of Yukos, admitted bribing Russian officials.” http://www.russialist.org/archives/8173-5.php