President Dmitry Medvedev has suggested that Russia could get involved in the privatization of some of Poland’s larger energy projects – in particular, Lotos, which has a number of potential Russian suitors – and defended his country’s energy industry: ‘There is an opinion that practically all Russian energy projects are politicized, that Russia’s wish is to turn Europe into an energy junkie for political gain. We think that’s absolute nonsense.‘ He also defended energy relations with the EU, calling them ‘mutually advantageous‘. Germany has abandoned plans to ship nuclear waste to Russia, over concerns that the material would not be safely disposed of. Natural gas extraction on the Yamal Peninsula could be granted a supporting tax holiday, without which Novatek’s project in the region would make losses, it says. Bashneft will open a Zurich trading arm next year, following in the footsteps of TNK-BP which is planning a similar operation in Geneva. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is letting the wind out of wind power’s sails, calling the alternative energy form ‘a real environmental problem‘ because, he says, it drives worms and moles out of the ground, and kills birds. The November bill for Russian gas supplies to Ukraine’s Naftogaz came to over $1 billion; Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says he finds it difficult to cooperate ‘with new Russia‘; his country has already found an alternative source for its oil supplies, he says, ‘and will find a gas alternative too‘.