It is hardly a coincidence that the problems with payments for the Bushehr project began shortly before Clay Sell, Deputy Secretary of Energy, came to Moscow to discuss the details of the U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation agreement (known as 123 agreement). In his interview to Interfax, Mr. Sell said that the administration hopes to be ready to submit the agreement to Congress in about three months.

That does not mean, however, that the Bushehr project will be stopped - it may still go ahead, if only because it gives all the parties involved a leverage in the situation.