Russia and Ukraine have taken steps towards initiating a new agreement on oil transit – a five year deal with a proposed volume of 25 million tons – but a lack of concrete details ‘leaves the threat of a new year gas war hanging in the air‘, according to Reuters. It seems that Russia is not willing to meet Ukraine on its price. Sergei Shmatko’s comment: ‘[I]f you are looking for a discount you need to sit down and talk between economic agents.‘ TVEL has signed a deal with Ukraine’s Nuclear Fuel to construct a nuclear plant in Ukraine. Duty on Russia’s Urals crude will rise by 9% next month. Venezuela, in a bid to diversify its exports, has promised more fuel to Belarus and Syria, drawing volumes away from the United States. Bashneft looks likely to win its bid for the Trebs and Titov oil fields, after its only remaining rival, Surgutneftegaz, failed to pay its auction fees.