Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken out against the Yulia Tymoshenko verdict, warning that it could make energy ties with Ukraine difficult, and the Foreign Ministry said that it couldn’t fail to notice ‘the obvious anti-Russian subtext in this whole story’. ‘Tymoshenko is not our friend,’ Putin added. Ukraine’s Energy Minister insists that the verdict will not have any influence over price talks with Gazprom, as the Prime Minister Mykola Azarov anticipates that a compromise on price will be worked out soon. Speaking in China, Putin also said that a landmark gas deal with China is almost in its final stages, and used the opportunity to take another swipe at the ‘parasite’ U.S. A Russian court may throw out a $2.8 billion lawsuit brought against two BP executives by TNK-BP. The Russian Finance Ministry may link its mineral extraction tax on gas production to world gas prices, which, analysts say, could lower the volatility of earnings and make the tax regime more transparent. Iran has suspended a gas contract with China National Petroleum Corp, and replaced Gazprom Neft with a local, partially state-owned consortium. The New York Times looks at European discord over the nuclear question. Further delays to the Nabucco pipeline?