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Energy Blast – April 21, 2010

As a bargaining chip in potentially reduced prices for Ukraine’s purchases of Russian gas, Russia could take a controlling stake – as much as 50% – in Ukraine’s airplane maker Antonov.  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych meets with Dmitry Medvedev today to discuss prices as the Ukrainian Prime Minister said that talks on prices were ‘extremely difficult – everything depends on Russia’s good will‘.  Gazprom is reportedly trying to gain a majority stake in Poland’s Europol Gaz, of which it already owns 48%.  Hopefully Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s cold will not interfere with his chances in a judo championship in Vienna this weekend, on the sidelines of which he will sign a deal to build a section of the South Stream pipeline through Austria.  The Economist writes on potential new power sources from magnesium.  Transneft has taken out a full $10 billion Chinese credit to construct the second line of the VTSO pipeline, to be paid off in twenty years.  Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has instructed his government to find shale gas in Belarus to help it reduce dependence on Russian supplies.  Despite angry cries from protesters, Brazil has awarded a domestic consortium rights to build the world’s third-largest hydroelectric dam in the Amazon rainforest.