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Kremlin pledges to promote objective image of Russia despite cutting links with US PR firm

March 12, 2015, 18:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

US company Ketchum no longer represents the Russian Federation in the US or Europe

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© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. The Kremlin will continue its efforts to promote an objective image of Russia in the world despite cutting off contacts with the US public-relations giant Ketchum, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, noting that President Vladimir Putin’s administration appreciated results of the company’s work for Russia and did not exclude the possibility of resuming cooperation in the future.

Ketchum, the US company that has worked to burnish Russia's image since 2006, has ended its representative relationship with the Russian Federation and the state-owned gas firm Gazprom, according to a report from communications industry publication PR Week.

"It is true that we had a pause [in relations with the company] some time ago. Contractual obligations are fulfilled now," Peskov said, adding that: "It has been decided not to extend the contract for now."

Explaining the decision, the spokesman said the parties to the contract needed "cost-saving measures".

"Besides, public-relations and communications’ efforts have little impact now on the general atmosphere at a time when a real communications war is taking place," he said, noting also that the Kremlin "highly appreciates" cooperation with Ketchum, which "lasted more than a year".

Peskov said Russia would continue its work to promote an objective image of itself.

"It [the end of cooperation] certainly doesn’t mean that Russia will abandon its efforts to convey its views to other countries of the world," Peskov said. "This work goes further," he said, adding that Russia had "a great number of its own mechanisms for such work".

"Eventually, we will continue cooperation with global communications companies if necessary," he added.

PR Week, the world’s leading public-relations and communications publication, said on Wednesday: "Ketchum no longer represents the Russian Federation in the US or Europe with the exception of our office in Moscow."

According to the magazine, Ketchum, a division of the Omnicom Group Inc., was paid nearly $23 million by the Russian Federation from 2006 through mid-2012, as well as $17 million by energy giant Gazprom.

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