According to EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, a consensus exists within Europe over the need for a ban on Iranian oil exports to the bloc. Banning Iranian oil sales would be a political move and Russia does not believe energy imports should be employed to exert pressure, counters Russia’s Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko. Ria-Novosti reports that Russia and the Czech Republic will sign an agreement on setting up a joint venture to exchange advanced technologies in the civilian nuclear power sector during the upcoming visit of President Medvedev to Prague. Russia plans to restore oil exports to Belarus next year to 2009 levels. The Kremlin’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Belarus’ gas pipeline system may have been a financial lifeline, but it will not advance market reform in the debt-ridden country, says Reuters. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said that a global warming treaty may ‘be beyond our reach’. Bloomberg reports on Cuadrilla’s shale gas exploration in rural Lancashire.