Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered the guarantee of full oil supplies to the Czech Republic in an attempt to show that the previous cut was not made for political reasons. TNK-BP chief Robert Dudley has written to the country’s immigration department saying that he will soon provide them with a valid employment contract. Dudley will continue working until the issue is resolved. The Times is incredulous at the Kremlin’s “feigned disinterest” over the TNK-BP affair. Gazprom has signed a memorandum of cooperation in oil and gas production with the National Iranian Oil Company. China has warned ExxonMobil to drop an exploration deal in the seas off Vietnam which it sees as a breach of Chinese sovereignty. Hugo Chavez wants Russia and Venezuela to become strategic partners in the oil sector.