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Energy Blast – Jan 27th, 2009

The slumping price of oil reduces the amount of ‘easy’ money available to pay bribes, and could contribute to an overall drop in corruption, according to an economist at Russia’s Troika Dialog. An aide to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko suggested that last week’s deal to restore Russian gas flows to Europe could be declared invalid if shown to have been concluded under pressure.  A PGNiG spokesman says that Poland is still receiving only half the contracted volumes of Russian natural gas via Ukraine.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking earlier this month on the recent crisis, says ‘we have nothing to fear from Russia’, but the country must respect its customers.  Deliveries of liquefied natural gas from the Sakhalin-2 project to Japan could be delayed by two months. A summit of countries interested in the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline from Central Asia to Europe has opened in Budapest.