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John Weaver, former strategist for John Kasich, will lobby on behalf of the Tenam Corporation, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company. | Eric Piermont/Getty Images

politics

Kasich adviser will lobby against potential Russia sanctions

John Weaver, the top strategist for John Kasich’s presidential campaign in 2016, has registered as a foreign agent and plans to lobby against potential sanctions on Russia.

Weaver signed a contract last month to lobby on behalf of the Tenam Corporation, a subsidiary of Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company.

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Weaver will lobby Congress and the Trump administration on “sanctions or other restrictions in the area of atomic (nuclear) energy, trade or cooperation involving in any way the Russian Federation,” according to a disclosure filing.

The six-month contract is worth $350,000, plus expenses, with an option to extend if necessary. “Time is of the essence in the Agreement,” the contract reads, according to a copy filed with the Justice Department.

It’s not clear exactly what sanctions Weaver will be lobbying against. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) introduced legislation in February to beef up sanctions on Russia, which would curtail the amount of uranium that could be imported from Russia starting in 2021, among other provisions. The bill hasn’t made it out of committee.

Weaver is a longtime Republican operative who served as Kasich’s chief strategist during his 2016 presidential campaign and has continued to advise him. He told the Associated Press in February that Kasich was leaning toward challenging President Donald Trump in the GOP primary.

Weaver is also a former adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaigns. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Fletcher Newton, Tenam’s president, said in an interview the company hired Weaver to head off legislation that would make it harder for American utilities and nuclear power plants to buy nuclear fuel from Russia.

Weaver will “work with Congress and, hopefully, make sure they don’t come up with something vis-a-vis Russia that ends up hurting the United States,” he said.

Tenam hired Weaver after asking for recommendations, Newton said, although he declined to say who recommended him.

“I can tell you it’s about as good a recommendation as anybody could ask for,” he said.

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