For Ukraine rivals, no let up in Washington lobbying

Anti-government protesters stand behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence SquareBy Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three prominent Washington, D.C. lobbying outfits, representing rival political factions in Ukraine, continued lobbying for their Ukrainian clients through the last quarter of 2013, the most recent reports filed recently with Congress show. Two of the companies, the Washington-based Podesta Group Inc and the Mercury public relations firm, have been registered with Congress for the last two years as lobbyists for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels group whose financial backing is obscure. Opposition activists and news reports in Ukraine have described the group as tied to Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich’s Party of Regions. A third Washington group, the Wiley Rein law firm, has been registered with Congress since 2011 as lobbyists for Oleksandar Tymoshenko, the husband of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year prison term for alleged abuse of power.

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