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Energy Blast – May 18, 2010

Little more than a stop-gap?  Glenn Kessler voices skepticism about the nature of the new nuclear deal with Iran in the Washington Post.  RFE/RL seconds the feeling of doubt, attributing it to a sense of deja vu.  The International Atomic Energy Agency has reportedly said that it needs to see the deal in writing.  President Medvedev also apparently has reservations, and plans to ask his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Lula da Silva for details of the arrangement.  Whilst the subject of a Gazprom/Naftogas merger remains unbroached in Kiev (‘There’s no room for rushing’, says Medvedev’s spokesman), Gazprom has apparently offered to entirely modernize Ukraine’s gas network it if agrees to the idea.  Belarussian imports from Russia declined by 43% in the first quarter of the year. Rosneft has announced that its profits rose 18% in the first quarter to the highest level since the beginning of the economic crisis.  Gazprom gets tough: the company has affirmed that it will cut spot sales of fuel to European customers that fail to buy minimum contracted volumes.