Nuclear negotiator needs to be 'active' politician

  • 2008-02-27
  • In cooperation with BNS
VILNIUS - The role of Lithuania's negotiator for extensionof Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant operations would be best performed by anactive politician or a member of parliament, says Parliamentary SpeakerViktoras Muntianas.

He told the Ziniu Radijas news radio on Feb 27 that ex-prime ministerAleksandras Abisala, who currently works as a business adviser and wasappointed as the head negotiator by the government on Tuesday, may lackpolitical influence.

"My proposal was to designate an active politician, I made proposals thatit could be a parliamentarian. My proposals were based on the fact, thatsolution of the matter will require consensus within the EU, which meansthat we should act through parliaments, as well. It could also be aparliamentarian representing the state who could work through parliaments ofEU countries," said the parliamentary speaker, noting that the governmentassumed too much responsibility in this case.

In Muntianas' words, the Lithuanian aspiration to extend operations ofthe Ignalina nuclear plant after its planned closure in 2009 would besupported or not objected by Latvia, Estonia, countries of the NordicCouncil and the Visegrad Group. He said certain efforts could result insupport of the remaining EU members.

Meanwhile, Abisala says that the probability of the successful outcome ofthe negotiations is about 5 percent.

Lithuania is considering a possibility of keeping Ignalina operationalbecause it plans to build a new nuclear power plant in about a decade, whiledecommissioning of the second reactor at Ignalina is planned for the end of2009.

Lithuania made this commitment upon accession to the EU, where SovietRBMK-type reactors are deemed unsafe. Lithuania closed the first reactor ofthe N-plant in the end of 2004.

After Lithuania becomes deprived of nuclear energy, the country's powerproduction market would become fully dependent on supply of natural gas fromRussia.