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Richard R. Burt

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Richard R. Burt
United States Ambassador to West Germany
In office
September 16, 1985 – February 17, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byArthur F. Burns
Succeeded byVernon A. Walters
13th Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs
In office
February 18, 1983 – July 18, 1985
Preceded byLawrence Eagleburger
Succeeded byRozanne L. Ridgway
Personal details
Born (1947-02-03) February 3, 1947 (age 77)
Sewell, Chile
Political partyRepublican
Alma materCornell University
Tufts University

Richard R. Burt (born February 3, 1947) is an American businessman and diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Germany and was a chief negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Prior to his diplomatic career, Burt worked as director of a non-governmental organization and from 1977 to 1980 was a national security correspondent for The New York Times.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Burt was born on February 3, 1947, in Sewell, Chile.[2] He attended Cornell University, where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi.[3] He earned his bachelor's degree, and earned a master's degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1971. Following graduate school, he was selected for a research fellowship at the United States Naval War College. Following this fellowship, Burt moved to London to work as a research associate and later Assistant Director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. In 1977, he was hired by The New York Times to work as a correspondent on national security issues.[4]


Richard Burt (left) with Franz Josef Strauß

Burt began working for the United States Department of State in the early 1980s. In 1981, he was appointed Director of Politico-Military Affairs, and in 1983 Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. In 1985, he became the United States Ambassador to Germany.[4] He assisted in the 11 February 1986 exchange of 9 persons including Anatoly Shcharansky and Hana and Karl Koecher across the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.[5][6] His tenure as Ambassador to Germany coincided with the beginning of the process that would lead to the reunification of Germany.[7] In 1989, President George H. W. Bush appointed Burt as chief negotiator for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) between the United States and the Soviet Union, with the rank of ambassador.[2][4] The treaty, signed in 1991, limited the number of nuclear weapons that the two countries could have.

After negotiation of the START I treaty, Burt left government service and entered the private sector. He served as John McCain's top national security adviser during McCain's 2000 and 2008 Presidential campaigns.[8]

Private intelligence firm (2000–2007)[edit]

In 2000, he, Lord Powell of Bayswater and others founded the Washington, D.C.,-based private intelligence and risk-assessment and management firm Diligence with Diligence Europe headed by Michael Howard.[9] While he chaired Diligence, Nathaniel Rothschild, a close friend of Oleg Deripaska, purchased a large stake in Diligence.[8] While Deripaska was banned from entering the United States from 1998-2010,[10] he hired Diligence for corporate intelligence gathering, visa lobbying through its considerable GOP connections and, crucially, helping to obtain a $150 million World Bank/European Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan for the Komi Aluminum Project at Sosnogorsk, Komi Republic, a Deripaska subsidiary of Rusal.[8][11] Through the support from Diligence, Deripaska received a multiple entry visa to the United States in December 2005.[8] From the spring to October 2005, Diligence performed Project Yucca for BGR[a] in which the auditing firm KPMG was infiltrated by Diligence in order to obtain KPMG's audit of the Jeffrey Galmond and Leonid Reiman associated firm IPOC International Growth Fund for the benefit of Alfa Group's telecom subsidiary Altimo.[15] During Project Yucca, the shareholders of Diligence were CEO Nick Day who was a former British agent, the Chairman of Diligence Richard Burt, the Exxel Group which is a Buenos Aires private equity firm, and Edward Mathias from The Carlyle Group which is a private equity company from Washington D.C.[13][14] The Bermuda government had accused the IPOC International Growth Fund, which is a Bermuda registered owner of Russian telecoms,[b] of money laundering and also accused Diligence of impersonating secret service personnel.[13][14] KPMG successfully sued Diligence for fraud and unjust enrichment and received a settlement of $1.7 million from Diligence on June 20, 2006.[13]

Consulting work after Diligence (2007–present)[edit]

In 2007, he left Diligence to work with Henry Kissinger's consulting firm, Kissinger McLarty Associates.[8][c]

He has also worked as a partner in consulting firms McKinsey and Company and now serves as a managing partner of McLarty Associates in Washington, D.C. In addition, he has served on boards for the Atlantic Council,[24] Deutsche Bank's Scudder and Germany mutual fund families,[1] America Abroad Media,[25] International Games Technology, UBS mutual funds,[1] a member of the senior advisory board of Alfa Bank in Moscow until November 2016,[1] an advisor to European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) North America’s board until November 2016,[1] and Textron Corporation. Burt is also a Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies[4] and U.S. Chair of Global Zero.[26] He has lobbied on behalf of LOT Polish Airlines, the Capital Bank of Jordan, and Ukrainian construction firm TMM.[6][27] He has a working relationship with Mikhail Fridman who is closely associated with the Alfa Group.[6][28]

In 2014 through early 2016, Burt served as an unpaid foreign policy advisor for Rand Paul's campaign for president.[29][30]

During the first two quarters of 2016, McLarty Associates received $365,000 to lobby for New European Pipeline AG, a firm owned by Russian oil company Gazprom.[6] Beginning in February 2016, he and a colleague represented the five European energy companies investing in Nord Stream 2, an expansion of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline which would allow Russian gas to reach Europe without going through Belarus or Ukraine. Since 2017, Burt and another lobbyist of a subsidiary of McLarty Associates have received $3.53 million from five Nord Stream 2 financing companies.[31]

Supported Donald Trump for president[edit]

Burt claims to have contributed to Trump's first major foreign policy speech, April 27, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel.[32][33] In the speech, Trump called for greater cooperation with Russia and encouraged Trump to take a less interventionist approach to foreign affairs.[34]: 126 [35] In an April 2019 interview of the Center for the National Interest's Dmitry Simes by Christiane Amanpour, Burt was the top national security adviser to the 2016 Trump campaign.[36][37] During the campaign, Burt also wrote white papers for Jeff Sessions on foreign policy and national security.[6][d]

Burt's simultaneous roles as a campaign adviser for Trump and a lobbyist for Russian interests first drew scrutiny in October 2016 following the release of the Steele dossier.[6] Burt is on both the senior advisory board of the Russian Alfa Bank and the Irina Krivosheeva headed Alfa Capital Partners Advisory Board in which Russia's Alfa-Bank is an investor.[34][38]

Supported Joe Biden for President[edit]

In 2020, Burt, along with over 130 other former Republican national security officials, signed a statement that asserted that President Trump was unfit to serve another term, and "To that end, we are firmly convinced that it is in the best interest of our nation that Vice President Joe Biden be elected as the next President of the United States, and we will vote for him."[39]

Burt is a board member of the Dmitri Simes headed Center for the National Interest.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Founded by Haley Barbour, BGR was hired by Alfa Group through its subsidiary Altimo. The IPOC International Growth Fund, which controls several Russian telecoms, is closely associated with Leonid Reiman.[12][13][14]
  2. ^ In 2006, the beneficial owner of IPOC International Growth Fund was found to be Leonid Reiman according to a Zurich ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce.[12][16][17][18][19][20]
  3. ^ Vladimir Putin is very close to and has a very warm longtime relationship with Henry Kissinger.[21][22][23] Kissinger Associates does not disclose if it lobbies on behalf of Russian foreign policy interests.[21]
  4. ^ Jeff Sessions was the national security committee chairman for Trump's 2016 campaign.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Richard Burt". McLarty Associates website. Archived from the original on August 11, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Nomination of Richard R. Burt for the Rank of Ambassador While Serving as United States Negotiator for Strategic Nuclear Arms". The American Presidency Project. February 2, 1989. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  3. ^ The Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity: Among Our Brotherhood, archived from the original on 24 September 2009, retrieved 15 February 2015)
  4. ^ a b c d "Richard R. Burt". Council of American Ambassadors. Archived from the original on September 17, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  5. ^ "East, West exchange spies, Shcharansky". Houston Chronicle. February 11, 1986. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Schreckinger, Ben; Ioffe, Julia (October 7, 2016). "Lobbyist advised Trump campaign while promoting Russian pipeline". Politico. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "Richard R. Burt". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ames, Mark; Berman, Ari (October 1, 2008). "McCain's Kremlin Ties: He may talk tough about Russia, but John McCain's political advisors have advanced Putin's imperial ambitions". The Nation. Archived from the original on May 21, 2010. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Vina, Gonzalo (June 19, 2006). "Shakers: Former Tory leader to head risk firm". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Perez, Evan; White, Gregory L. (October 30, 2009). "FBI Lets Barred Tycoon Visit U.S." Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "Operating Locations". SUAL Group. Archived from the original on January 31, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2007.
  12. ^ a b Anonymous (May 24, 2012). "IPOC International Growth Fund beneficial owner". Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) of the World Bank and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d Javers, Eamon (February 25, 2007). "Spies, Lies & KPMG: An inside look at how the accounting giant was infiltrated by private intelligence firm Diligence". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Hotten, Russell (June 27, 2008). "BP antagonist has Altimo ambitions". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  15. ^ Knapp, Michael C.; Knapp, Carol A. (January–June 2016). "Duplicity and Diligence: An Ethical Forensic Case Study of International Espionage" (PDF). Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting. pp. 272–283. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  16. ^ Kent, Jonathan (9 May 2008). "The rise and fall of IPOC". Royal Gazette. Archived from the original on 7 August 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Russian Minister Laundered Millions in Finland?". Finrosforum. 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  18. ^ "KRP tutki venäläisministerin rahavirtoja Suomessa" [KRP investigated the Russian Minister's cash flows in Finland]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 11 October 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  19. ^ Sajari, Petri (October 11, 2013). "Krp tutki venäläisministerin rahavirtoja Suomessa: Suuri rahanpesuepäily alkoi entisen venäläisministerin epäillystä rikoksesta" [KRP investigated the Russian Minister's cash flows in Finland: A major suspicion of money laundering began with a suspected crime by a former Russian minister]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "Albany Invest, IPOC International Growth Fund, Saarijärvi". Suomi 24 (in Finnish). October 11, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Toosi, Nahal; Arnsdorf, Isaac (December 24, 2016). "Kissinger, a longtime Putin confidant, sidles up to Trump: America's pre-eminent ex-diplomat gets back in the mix. Could he help broker a deal with Russia?". Politico. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  22. ^ Vitkovskaya, Julie; Erickson, Amanda (May 10, 2017). "The strange Oval Office meeting between Trump, Lavrov and Kislyak". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  23. ^ Goodkind, Nicole (July 20, 2018). "Henry Kissinger: The World Is in a 'Very, Very Grave Period' and Trump Could Mark 'End of an Era'". Newsweek. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  24. ^ "Board of Directors". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  25. ^ "Richard Burt". America Abroad Media website. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
  26. ^ "Global Zero | A world without nuclear weapons".
  27. ^ "Все о компании ТММ: история, менеджмент, награды и философия". tmm.ua.
  28. ^ Charles, B. (22 March 2007). "Alfa Group's Arsenal to Fight Rivals in Kiev and Moscow". intelligenceonline.com. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020 – via Alfa’s Worldwide Network of Consultants.
  29. ^ Costa, Robert (March 27, 2014). "Rand Paul building national network, courting mainstream support for presidential bid". Washington Post.
  30. ^ Kirchick, James (May 9, 2014). "Is Rand Paul a Secret Hawk? Or Maybe Not a Total Dove?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  31. ^ Manuel Roig-Franzia. "How a D.C. lobbyist tried to stop Putin's pipeline before war started". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  32. ^ Kirchick, James (April 27, 2016). "Donald Trump's Russia connections". Politico.
  33. ^ Schreckinger, Ben; Ioffe, Julia (October 7, 2016). "Lobbyist advised Trump campaign while promoting Russian pipeline". Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. "We have no knowledge of this," wrote Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks in an email. "In fact, our team cannot verify his self-proclaimed contributions to Mr. Trump's speech and, I don't believe Mr. Trump or our policy staff has ever met Mr. Burt. To our knowledge he had no input in the speech and has had no contact with our policy team."
  34. ^ a b Abramson, Seth (November 13, 2018). Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1982116088.: 126  book's Index
  35. ^ Hosenball, Mark (June 8, 2017). "Former Reagan aide helped write Trump foreign policy speech". Reuters.
  36. ^ Amanpour, Christiane (April 24, 2019). "Dimitri Simes Gives an Exclusive Interview". Amanpour & Company. pbs.org website. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  37. ^ Rogin, Josh (May 2, 2019). "Dimitri Simes flew too close to Trump, and his think tank got burned". Washington Post website. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019
  38. ^ a b Felshtinsky, Yuri (22 August 2018). "Who is Dimitri Simes And Why Is He Trying To Sink Mayflower? Investigation by Yuri Felshtinsky". gordonua.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2023. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  39. ^ "Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden". Defending Democracy Together. 20 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2021.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs
January 23, 1981 – February 17, 1982
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs
February 18, 1983 – July 18, 1985
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Germany
Succeeded by