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Visaginas under review

Dec 20, 2012
From wire reports

More clarity on the future of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project in Lithuania could appear in the next two to three months, the new speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas, Vydas Gedvilas, said during a meeting on Dec. 12 with Latvian President Andris Berzins, reports ELTA.

The Presidential Press Service said that Gevilas told the Latvian president that Lithuania needs time to decide on how to move forward with this matter. He said that a parliamentary task force has been created to come up with solutions.
The Lithuanian parliamentary speaker also emphasized that the success of the project will depend on cooperation between the Baltics and their desire to move forward with it. Both officials were in agreement that cooperation in implementing important regional energy projects will ensure the Baltics energy security at a reasonable price.
Berzins and Gedvilas, who arrived on a visit to Latvia, also discussed bilateral relations, cooperation on energy projects, education, as well as a common stance on the European Union’s multi-annual budget 2014 to 2020.

The president expressed satisfaction that the new speaker of the Lithuanian parliament chose Latvia for his first foreign visit, and pointed to the importance of cooperation between the two countries. Both officials also emphasized that it is important to maintain a common stance on the European Union’s next multi-annual budget, more specifically fairer direct payments to farmers and adequate Cohesion financing.

Also during the meeting Gedvilas congratulated Latvia on the fact that it is meeting the Maastricht criteria, and praised the country’s progress towards implementing the euro. He added that this experience could be useful to Lithuania in the future.

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), however, warned that the current uncertainty in regard to the Visaginas project lessens Latvia’s possibilities of participating in it. “There is no clarity regarding the project at the moment,” the prime minister said, adding that it is important for Latvia to know how the new Lithuanian government intends to move forward with this project.

New Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius, who previously stated to the Lithuanian media that the nuclear power plant project will not go forward, has backed off from his previous comments in recent weeks.

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