VILNIUS - President Valdas Adamkus has confirmed that Poland is still interested in taking part in the planned construction of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania, despite an increasing number of reports indicating that the large neighbor was having second thoughts about its commitment.
Adamkus, who was in Gdansk on Aug. 29, said in a statement that Polish President Lech Kaczynski confirmed interest in the new 4 billion euro nuclear power station that will replace the current unit in Ignalina due to be shut down in 2009.
Adamkus also said a joint company would be established in the near future in order to begin realizing plans to link the two countries' energy grids.
In recent weeks there have been reports that Poland has been having doubts about its role in the atomic power plant and that the country of 36 million wants at least a 33 percent stake in the project.
According to the Law on Nuclear Power passed by Lithuania's parliament in June, Poland, Estonia and Latvia will each receive a 22 percent stake, while Lithuania, as home country with special responsibilities, gave itself a 34 percent interest.
Poland's prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, recently skipped a meeting with his Baltic colleagues in Vilnius citing domestic political difficulties. Indeed, not long after the ruling coalition in Poland collapsed.
Adamkus and Kaczynski reiterated the need to cooperate in reaching a consensus on a united EU energy policy.
The presidents also spoke about joint transportation projects, including Rail Baltica and Via Baltica, and working together in EU institutions to resolve the issue of a road around Augustovo.