Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated that Iran’s offer to tour nuclear facilities in the Gulf nation cannot be seen as a substitute for IAEA inspection. RFE/RL has a report on why Russia’s nuclear fuel bank has so few takers. Western diplomats are, according to the FT, urging Russia to try to use its considerable oil interests in Ivory Coast to intervene in the current political crisis. Azerbaijan has approved a plan to send ‘substantial volumes’ of gas to the European Union, a move which could potentially reduce the bloc’s dependency on Russian supplies. Russia’s state-controlled power trader Inter RAO has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in gas producer Nortgaz for $1.5 billion. A compromise is expected between Russia and Belarus on the resumption of Russian oil deliveries, says Reuters.