Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has stated that any talks over a gas merger involving Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy should involve the European Union. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has acknowledged that Ukraine apparently saved $250 million thanks to its discount on gas supplies from Russia. TNK-BP has said that it plans to form a joint venture with private company Iraq Oil Company for Oil Investments to develop oil and gas in the Persian Gulf nation. ITAR-TASS reports that the State Duma is contemplating the need for a law that would protect seas from oil spills. A warship has liberated an oil tanker that was hijacked at dawn with 23 Russian crew members aboard 350 miles off the coast of Yemen. The Polish government will not sign an agreement with Russia securing gas supplies before providing answers to questions asked by the European Commission in a letter last week, says Bloomberg. Between January and April 2010, Russian gas exports nearly doubled compared to the same period in 2009, Oil and Gas Eurasia reports. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asserted that Iran will ‘definitely continue’ its nuclear program despite threats of military intervention from Israel. The President has however accepted ‘in principle’ to use Brazilian mediation to reconsider a U.N.-brokered nuclear fuel swap deal with world powers.