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Iran shrugged off a plea by Russia's Foreign Ministry that it comply with UN demands to limit its nuclear program after Monday's passage of new sanctions against the Islamic republic. On the other hand, objections by Russia and China caused the International Atomic Energy Agency to drop plans for a resolution that would apply more pressure on Iran on top of the latest sanctions. Sources quoted the opponents as saying the IAEA "doesn't need to compete" with the UN Security Council.

Feuding between Russia and Ukraine over the flow of natural gas appeared to be coming to a head. The former's gas utility warned that it "reserves the right" to divert fuel sent by pipeline to western Europe for its own needs if there's a further cut in its supply. Gazprom, the Russian monopoly, reduced shipments to Ukraine by 25 percent Monday and threatened another 25 percent cut by Tuesday night unless Ukraine resumed negotiations over payment for supplies already received.

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