Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s finance minister, is keeping a pessimistic outlook on oil prices and demand for the coming year, which doesn’t bode well for the economy as oil declines usually mean bad news for Russian stocks. Despite the possibility that it could lose millions over customs duties next year, Gazprom has increased its investment spending plan for 2010 to $27.9 billion. The company has also officially adjusted the volume of Ukraine’s gas imports and agreed to waive fines. Other reports suggest that Russia’s gas deliveries to Poland will increase next year, and that an agreement could be signed as early as tomorrow. Shell says that talks with the Russian government about taking a stake in the giant Yamal project, which estimates suggest could take 50 years to develop, are progressing well.