The US is apparently willing to give Iran more time to decide whether it will accept the UN’s recent proposal on uranium enrichment abroad. Bad news for Gazprom – the company’s profits fell by 48% in the first six months of the year and its debt grew by 31% in the same period. The company expects to meet its target of exporting 142-143 billion cubic meters of gas in 2009 as demand continues to recover. The Russian monopoly could fine European consumers for falling short of contracted purchase volumes by 8-9 billion cubic meters of gas and Ukraine may be among them. Lukoil has received a $300 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Mikhael Gorbachev urges that the new ‘wall’ of climate change be addressed. China will offer $10 billion in concessional loans to Africa to get a foothold into the continent’s exploitable energy resources. Americans have a double incentive to hope that that a new START treaty is drawn up soon; the less obvious reason being that salvaged bomb material is powering about 10% of electricity in the US, some of which is obsolete Russian nukes. The Wall Street Journal looks at hostile political signals from the Nord Stream pipeline: ‘Russia’s geopolitical message here is clear: It doesn’t trust the new EU member states as transit countries or even as energy consumers and is willing to incur enormous costs to bypass them’.