Seeking US backing to block Nord Stream 2, a major Ukrainian energy association has signed a 1-year, $1.2 million contract with US law firm Arent Fox for legal and lobbying help in Washington.

The US Department of Justice reports that the Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry signed the contract last month. German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets with President Putin in Moscow on Friday, then flies to Kyiv on Sunday to meet President Zelenskiy.