October 15th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin unaware of Russian energy meeting in Alaska

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/palin4.jpg caption="Palin did not know that Russian oil officials would be visiting her home state this week."]
DOVER, New Hampshire (CNN) - The campaign of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said the Alaska governor was unaware of a visit by Russian energy officials to Anchorage on Monday.

Eight high-level officials from Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, traveled to Anchorage earlier this week to meet with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the chief executive of ConocoPhillips to discuss energy projects and the possibility of expanding into new markets.

The meeting on Alaskan soil comes at a time of chilly relations between Russia and the United States following Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August. Both Palin and John McCain have been critical of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail, and Palin raised eyebrows last month in an interview by saying that Putin “rears his head” by dispatching Russian jets into Alaska’s airspace.

Palin has argued that her state’s proximity to Russia, as well as trade missions between Alaska and Russia, have helped give her the foreign policy experience necessary to be Vice President. But the campaign said the governor did not know that the Gazprom delegation was meeting with the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, who is a Palin appointee.

Asked if Palin supports Gazprom doing business in Alaska, an aide to the governor said that “Alaska state officials routinely meet with government representatives from energy companies around the world.”

“Alaska has been, and will remain, very selective about companies with whom they do business,” said Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt.

UPDATE: The commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, Tom Irwin, tells CNN he informed Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, about the meeting before it took place two days ago. Irwin did not know if Nizich had passed the information along to the governor.

Irwin told CNN that he exchanged emails with Palin on Wednesday about energy issues, but that neither of them mentioned the Gazprom meeting in their messages. Despite Palin's absence from the state, Irwin said “it remains business as normal, and the governor has stayed very involved in state activities and is still leading state government.”

He noted that Monday's meeting with the Russian officials actually took place in the governor’s conference room in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, which he said is a common practice for large meetings and only requires on-site approval by office staffers.

Irwin stressed that the meeting with the Russian delegation was simply “a presentation of what they do” and that there was no specific pitch made about any business interest in Alaska.

Watch: Palin on McCain's new economic plan

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Candy West Virginia

    It's one of many many things she has no clue on. And why won't CNN talk about Todd Palin's activities in the AIP that wants Alaska to seperate from the USA? That is much more anti american than what paliar is accusing Barack of.
    mccain/palin = clueless pathological liars!

    October 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Joycelynn

    Doesn't surprise me....If they are in fact voted in.......this is terrible.....The president....McCain....if elected cannot multi-task and the vice....don't know her state of affairs as to what is going on in her state as a governor....they are way off track.....come on my people please change your way of thinking if you really want change....you have eyes to 'see'....and ears to 'hear'.........use them

    October 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Julie

    I don't find it that the good Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was not informed that Russian oil executives were meeting with her designees in Anchorage.

    Remember Sarah uses her state Blackberry to keep in touch?

    I wonder whose telling the truth here, and if this too will come back to bite her.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Barbara

    She reminds me of that show clueless. But they want us to believe she is exprienced. She expressed alot on energy, and even her on state excludes her in the knowledge that Russia is meeting there. Like a bridge to nowwhere when it comes her.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. frank

    She just keeps sealing the McPalin fate.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |

    Sarah I am gonna say it again thanks but no thanks you moron.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. Nom Deplume

    More MSM yellow journalism. Russian companies are already doing business in the US, and meet with regulators everywhere. That a group of executives met with regulators is a yawner. So lets mention that they are russians.

    More grist for the comrades waving the red flags for Obama, more proof, if any was needed, that MSM is firmly in the elitist, we-know-more-and-what's -best-for-you camp.

    And I will be shocked if the CNN censors have the guts to post this.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. OMG

    look at the photo on top, she looks like saying, I am clueless, winck winck.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Gal, Ohio

    wow they missed a photo op didn't they?

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Red

    Hey, dropping hockey pucks takes precedence over meeting with Russia regarding our most volataile commodity....

    How do you say "Drill baby drill" in Russian?

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Bruce

    I head about the "Spread theWealth Around" comment. I will tell you the truth If I earned $250,000.00 a year I would gladly pay more taxes. I would still end up with a lot more than I make NOW.

    When you look at the military fighting to keep us all free how many for the troops are from forturne 500 families? If thye can't send their son's and daughter's off to fight to protect america they should at least help pay to it.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If she did know about the meeting, exactly what could she have offered, calling them terrorist and possibly creating a Cold War. But she will probably fire her appointee for doing his/her job. Enough of this woman.

    October 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Please, please, she's focused on ACORN right now. Palin does not have time to juggle too many issues at once. Maybe Putin can send her a text message to let her know how things are going in Alaska when he pops up into the airspace. Maybe he can check on the cell towers and update her on that as well. Ok, enough with the silliness! Palin is unaware of what she and John McCain are doing within the campaign – how about asking them if they have compared notes on the latest developments on North Korea. It's not surprising to hear that Palin is not aware of the latest events going on in Alaska. Next story, please!

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. We are ALL "That One"

    Putin reared his head and she missed it! Oh...my bad, no see was able to see it from her hotel window.

    She is a fraud.A joke. An insult.

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. values


    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Rob R

    Maybe she will say that Russia and ConocoPhillips are sexist for leaving her out the picture.

    I thought she was an energy expert?

    How is this woman even still around? And how is that 45% of Americans WANT her and McCain to be running things?

    Please America, we need an Obama LANDSLIDE on Nov 4 to show these retards that we have had enough and we're not going to take it anymore.

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Thelma, ND

    She just didn't understand that her reputation is on the line as well. When John told her to go negative and appeal to the most common level of mankind, she should have said "NO". John's career is almost over, thank God, but Palin had a future. I think she's not savvy enough to know when to draw the line. Not only is this woman not ready for America, she wasn't even ready for Alaska. She made her state look bad.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Shari, NY

    Did anyone think that maybe she was not invited to meet with them?

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. bob in L.A.

    I guess you CAN"T see Russia or Russians from her front porch!
    And they must have "driven" over since she also sees them flying over head.
    Poor Sarah!

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Nik


    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. S in NY

    First things first... gotta worry about the commies (Obama/Biden) trying to take over the country before you can deal with the ones just trying to buy some oil. Dang, this is Day 1 stuff people.

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Soccer mom from Manhattan

    Why go to the meeting or even make an effort to be informed about the meeting when she can see Russia from her house and keep an eye on "the KGB" that way?

    October 15, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. leigh

    How many times have Russians visited Alaska without her knowledge? Does Palin not knowing this time hint at a historical pattern of her looking the other way in her short tenure as Governor? How safe do you feel NOW Alaska? She's not doing her job protecting the lower 48 either.

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |

    She wasnt informed cause those people know their job and know exactly what to say...
    They dont want another ..Putin rears his head jets fly in alaska airspace and sthey tell them guys move on....
    That is the point.

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. jenny

    Sarah Palin just missed out on some FOREIGN policy experiences. BAD JUDGEMENT. TINA FEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE TO REPRESENT YOU-IDIOT.

    October 15, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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