Russian oligarchs have much invested in Europe and in the U.S. The inverse is also true. We have much invested in Russia. Russia is big business.
According to The Hill, public relations giant Ketchum has earned more than $26 million representing Russia, and is keeping the country as a client despite the widely denounced incursion into Crimea by the Russian military.
“Our work continues to focus on supporting economic development and investment in the country and facilitating the relationship between representatives of the Russian Federation and the Western media. We are not advising the Russian Federation on foreign policy, including the current situation in Ukraine,” said a Ketchum spokeswoman.
Ketchum also represents Gazprom, the Russian state-owned oil and gas company. With headquarters in Moscow, Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas and one of the largest companies in the world.
Another big American companies with a lot on the line in Russia right now is Boeing.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, aerospace products are America’s No. 1 export to Russia, and Boeing currently has an 100-aircraft backlog of orders from Russian airlines.
Boeing also has an engineering center in Moscow, and a joint titanium manufacturing operation with a Russian company.
None of these deep connections are surprising in any way. We live in a global economy and many Americans—myself included—have Russian heritage. Some of us grew up reading Russian novels and seeing Russian plays in the theater. Others idolize the Russian hockey players on today’s NHL teams. My point is this current crisis is a family conflict. And Putin is the rogue relative.
For more on that, see this segment from Rachel Maddow: