Oleg Deripaska
Oleg Deripaska

Mercury Public Affairs scored a major victory Jan. 16 as Republicans in the Senate blocked a bid to restore sanctions on aluminum and energy companies controlled by Oleg Deripaska, Russian oligarch and confidant to strongman Vladimir Putin.

The Treasury Dept. last month eased the sanctions, claiming that Deripaska restructured his ownership position in Rusal, the world’s No. 2 aluminum company, and its parent EN+ Group.

Mercury’s connection with Deripaska is via a contract signed last May with British politico Gregory Barker, EN+ Group chairman and a member of the UK House of Lords.

The British Parliament is investigating Barker for “alleged breach of the code in relation to personal honor, parliamentary services and paid advocacy.”

Former Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter heads Team Mercury, supported by partner Morris Reid (former leader of BGR’s international practice and staffer to former VP Al Gore) and senior VP Deirdre Stach (Clark & Weinstock alum and aide to ex-Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Robert Walker)

Mercury receives a $108,500 monthly fee for representing Deripaska’s work.