Russia and Austria have agreed to conclude talks over the South Stream pipeline as quickly as possible. The deal would, this report says, exclude Ukraine from the supply route, and will, in Putin’s words, quoted by the Other Russia, help to ‘discipline’ the country. Putin has warned that if Ukraine begins unauthorized siphoning of gas from pipelines, when it cannot pay for its own gas, Russia will not hesitate to reduce the pumping of gas, or to cut it completely, Bloomberg reports. Reuters has a possible scenarios discussion here. Reassuringly, Gazprom claims to have ‘everything in place’ to ensure that a gas war does not break out again this winter. Acting head of Russian oil company TNK-BP Mikhail Fridman is likely to resign imminently; tipped for the position is Mikhail Barsky, the 35-year-old former head of smaller oil firm West Siberian Resources. Gazprom Neft has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Iranian Oil Company to assist in development of the Anaran block in Iran.