Alston & Bird notified the U.S. Department of Justice this week that the firm was hired to act as an adviser to the Russian Federation on "issues which affect the bilateral US-Russian Relationship."
Alston will be gathering information on a broad range of U.S. foreign policy matters, including trade, energy and military issues that might affect relations between the two countries, according to registration paperwork (PDF) the firm filed on Monday with the Justice Department.
The firm was hired by public relations company Ketchum Inc. Alston served as an adviser to the Russian government through a similar arrangement with Ketchum in 2009, according to Justice Department records.
Alston partner Robert Jones could not immediately be reached today. Ketchum senior partner and chairman Ray Kotcher referred questions about the registration to Alston. A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington was not immediately available for comment.
According to the registration, Alston won't be lobbying. Rather, the firm will be gathering information and monitoring legislative developments in Congress.
Alston will charge $20,000 in monthly "advisory fees" from February 1 through October 31, according to a copy of the engagement letter with Ketchum included in Alston's registration.
The agreement also lists Ketchum partner and senior vice president Kathy Jeavons. Jeavons, according to her online profile, oversees Ketchum's efforts to promote Russia "as an attractive place to invest, as a reliable energy partner, and as rightful member of the G8 and other world governing bodies."