Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has cancelled a license for a strategically important hydrocarbon exploration project, openly accusing Vanco Energy, which is leading the venture, of “holding backroom talks with Gazprom.” Vladimir Putin’s appointment of Sergei Shmatko as the new energy minister “could lend more emphasis to atomic power.” Unified Energy System will hold two shareholder meetings this month to discuss reorganization before the company is liquidated. The Kazakh government could impose sanctions on the Western consortium developing the giant Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea if its operators delay the start of production again. LUKOIL chief Vagit Alekperov and vice president Leonid Fedun have spent $1.6 billion increasing their stakes in the company. Some blame Russia’s lack of democracy on the “natural-resource curse,” which is “the theory that high oil and gas profits weaken economic and political development in the long term.” The Economist focuses on the uncertain future of emissions trading. A Hungarian business court has rejected a lawsuit brought by Austria’s OMV against Hungarian oil company MOL.