Submitted by Diane Farsetta on
The public relations firm Ketchum, which "works with the highest levels of Russia's Government and the state-owned energy monopoly Gazprom," has hired the Alston & Bird lobby firm to work on the account. The lobby firm "of former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Tom Daschle will deal with trade, energy, economic and politico-military issues at a $35K-a-month rate," at least through the end of May 2009, reports O'Dwyer's. Russia paid Ketchum $2.9 million from August 2008 to January 2009. The PR firm helped Russia finesse its invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and its cutting off natural gas supplies to Ukraine. The firm secured a CNN interview for Vladimir Putin, "coordinated President Dmitry Medvedev's Council on Foreign Relations event (in November 2008), organized a meeting for Washington reporters with Kremlin spokesperson Alexey Pavlov and arranged a Wall Street Journal meeting with Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev." Previously, Ketchum placed Russia-themed paid supplements in the Washington Post and helped Putin become Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2007.