VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government on Wednesday for the first time approved a plan to prepare for a possible accident at Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant, with up to 100 million euros to be allocated for the purpose over five years.
The total financing needs for 2022-2026 are estimated at 91.58 million euros, including 72.98 million euros for the first priority needs, according to the Interior Ministry.
The state budget will provide 17.75 million euros next year, it said.
"The Astravyets nuclear power plant poses a permanent threat, and it is therefore essential to ensure the preparedness of the state, municipalities and society for a possible nuclear or radiological accident. These funds are an investment in state security," Deputy Interior Minister Vitalij Dmitrijev said in a press release.
Special attention must be paid to preparations in the districts of Vilnius and Svencionys, which are within the 30-kilometer area from the facility and would likely be at the highest risk of radiation exposure, according to the ministry.
The Lithuanian government says Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravyets, some 50 kilometers from Vilnius, fails to meet international safety and environmental standards, an allegation that Minsk denies.