VILNIUS – Lithuania's position on the Astravyets nuclear power plant which is set to be completed in Belarus soon should not be too radical as it might fail to gain support from EU institutions, Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius says.
"We are working really intensively with EU institutions and want our position to be the one that our allies would understand. I would like to underline that if it's too radical and hardly implementable practically, we won’t get support from our allies. And we want them involved into this process as much as possible. To have it in reality instead of words as security matters, compliance with standards and compliance with laws is an EU matter. And this is what we are trying to do, and I don’t think we are doing it very bad," the minister said in an interview with the lrt.lt news website.
"What the results will be is another question. We will do that but that's not easy. The object is under construction in another country where Lithuania's laws do not apply, and, to tell the truth, all other laws and international legal norms are applied rather selectively as well," Linkevicius added.
Speaking with BNS on Friday, the minister specified that it would be radical and fairly unrealistic to demand the stoppage of the nuclear facility once it comes online.
"What too much means is that if we demand not to operate the facility or demand to stop it after it comes online. That's too radical. At this stage, we want to raise realistic demands our allies would understand," the minister said.
"Let's say, when there was the demand to build it in another location. They will not build it elsewhere as they have built it in this place, despite the site being inappropriate, which we have said many times. We have to demand in this situation for institutions to get involved and monitor the final phases of this construction and demand that safety standards be complied with as now they are the only wants to are carrying out the control," Linkevicius told BNS.
He disagrees with the opinion that it's difficult for Lithuania to convince its neighbors not to buy electricity from the Astravyet NPP.
"Our neighbor Poland has said very clearly that they won’t buy that electricity as much as possible. And we have also adopted laws and have no plans to change them," Linkevicius said.
He also called attempts to forge closer pragmatic ties with Belarus a very good tactical change in Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda's position as "we can achieve more benefit for our country in terms of all aspects when talking to this country".
"It (the Astravyets NPP – BNS) is built already, and, to tell the truth, it took 10 years to build it, therefore, we have to see that reality. I would like to underline that we should not accept it as accepting it means agreeing with what has happened. And the president has said numerous times that we disagree with the construction of this power plant and will seek that it not be used. But to mitigate that possible damage, which is possible, if it starts working," the minister underlined.