Lithuania confirms its opposition to Belarusian nuclear power plant

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 30.11.2017 07:37

The Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarussia's Grodno region has been the subject of a dispute between Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskait and Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei during the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels on 24 November. Lithuanian political leaders see this plant, located 45 kilometres from Vilnius, as a threat to national security.

Additionally, according to Lithuania, it is not built in accordance with international standards, primarily regarding the construction site choice. However, it was among areas recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency, who also concluded that appropriate measures have been taken to secure the site's safety. A prominent issue raising concern for Lithuania is the participation of Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom as Vilnius aims at energy independence from Russia. The controversy raised by the power plant, especially in the Baltics, was also enhanced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who described the dispute as an issue of the European community, not just bilateral relations between Vilnius and Minsk. Belarus, according to Makei, plans to remain transparent and cooperate with the EU on the Astravyets plant's construction and operation. Despite the disagreement, the power plant should be launched in the middle of 2019.

About author: Jakub Maděránek


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