Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed hope that talks with Ukraine on natural gas, which commence today, will lead to a resolution. Russia’s Economy Minister Elvira Nabiullina opposes the sale of a Kremlin stake in Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) to Rosneft. Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko outlines some of the risks involved in the privatization of Rosneft. The Moscow Times looks at the key issues facing Poland in its bid to become independent from Russia through the development of shale gas, including high European gas prices (in comparison with the U.S.), the need for investors, and the public backlash over fracking. Rosnedra, Russia’s subsoil agency, is accepting applications for exploration of 58 prospective oil and gas fields. A group of Ukrainian women held a topless protest outside Gazprom’s Moscow headquarters to protest company policies, holding signs reading ‘Gas Gangsters’.