Germany’s E.On has asked Vladimir Putin for a personal guarantee on the effectiveness of its investment in Russian energy, leading to a promise from the prime minister that Russia would not slow development in the energy sector. Ukraine has started to pay its Russian gas bill. Russia’s Kyoto emissions limit, ‘based on the horrors pumped out by filthy old Soviet industries back in 1990‘, has allowed the country to accumulate emissions permits worth about four billion tonnes of CO2, says this report. Russian coal is being promoted in Asia. Tensions are reportedly showing at OPEC, which seems unable to prevent oil prices from either surging or collapsing. ‘They are riding the economic wave just like the rest of us,‘ said one analyst. The Russian government has lowered oil export duty by 33% to take into account the lower global oil price. Russia still has a major cushion in its $450 billion in foreign-currency reserves, but those are down by 25% from August and falling oil prices could pose further problems.