BP has dismissed threats made by the AAR consortium that it may block the British major’s attempts to sell off its stake in their joint venture. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that a Russian court has ordered a new hearing into a $13 billion lawsuit brought against BP by minority shareholders in its Russia venture. The state’s largest oil company, Rosneft, has hired a former TNK-BP executive to beef up its management team. Gazprom apparently has no intention of buying BP’s stake. President Putin believes that the EU’s third energy package of 2009 should not be applicable to deals signed previously. Today he will meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing in talks that are likely to focus on energy. As part of ongoing attempts to reduce dependence on Russia, Ukraine has announced a tender to find partners for Black Sea offshore oil and gas exploration within the next two months. Russian state company Atomstroyexport wishes to see the ‘peaceful settlement’ of the issues it has with Bulgaria over the abortive Belene Nuclear Power Plant. Russia mans up the Arctic.