Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has raised eyebrows with comments that the West is principally to blame for high energy prices, referring to unrest in North Africa and the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003. He also reiterated comments made by the head of Gazprom that Russia’s price formula for gas is universal for all countries and Ukraine will be ‘no exception’. Which is bad news for Belarus, whose negotiation for a decrease in gas prices looks unlikely to reap any results. China and Russia are reportedly in the final stages of of negotiating a landmark gas deal which would see major cooperation in the energy field. BP has denied rumors that it has plans to sell down its half-share in TNK-BP. Apparently the four Russian billionaires of the AAR consortium are considering fresh legal action over the rumors. ‘It is difficult to see how BP’s latest threat to AAR might improve matters’ says the Independent. Russia and Norway have reportedly reached a deal to divide up their shares of the Barents Sea, which splits a 175,000-square kilometer area into two equally sized pieces. The Telegraph reports on the opening of a high-octane OPEC meeting in Vienna. Finally, Russia will apparently help Malaysia build its first nuclear power plant.