VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has warned that Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant is threatening the security of EU citizens.
On Monday, Nauseda had a phone conversation with European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss safety issues at the facility built close to Lithuania's border, "the imminent start of electricity generation at this power plant and EU solidarity measures", the president's office said in a press release.
"Belarus continues preparations for the launch of the first unit despite nuclear safety issues and failure to implement stress test recommendations," it said.
"The Astravyets NPP poses threat to the security of EU citizens, it is therefore necessary to stop such irresponsible launch of the Astravyets NPP," Nauseda said.
"Moreover, the EU must not allow electricity generated by the third-country producers which do not meet the highest standards of nuclear safety and environmental protection to enter the market," he said.
"Thanks to Lithuania ‘s efforts, safety and security of the Astravyets NPP has become an EU priority. The recent common position of the member states was confirmed in the conclusions of the two European Councils in October," according to the press release.
Belarus says it is planning to connect the plant's first reactor to its energy system at the end of this year, with the unit expected to reach its full capacity next February.
The Lithuanian government says the facility has been built in violation of safety and environmental requirements, an allegation that Minsk denies.