Vilnius calls on Minsk not to launch Astravyets without eliminating shortcomings

  • 2020-07-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania has called on Minsk not to launch the Astravyets nuclear power plants without the elimination of safety shortcomings.

Such a call was made in a joint letter of the Lithuanian foreign and energy ministers to the Belarusian, foreign affairs, energy and emergency situations, Lithuania's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"The launch of any nuclear power plant should not be rushed at the expense of safety, deliberately adjusting it to the election calendar. Unfortunately, such tendencies can be observed in the case of the Belarusian NPP. A number of safety issues, however, remain unresolved," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius was quoted as saying in a statement.

Energy Mnister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said Lithuania's position is consistent and clear both in terms of nuclear safety and adequate reserve capacity.

"First, a nuclear facility has to meet international safety standards before its launch. Second, a nuclear power plant cannot be launched without necessary reserves. We have raised this issue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and we clearly stating that to Belarus as well that the reserve capacity of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant (PSP) could not be used for the needs of the Astravets NPP," Vaiciunas said.

The letter also reiterated the provision enshrined in Lithuanian law that the country's reserve capacity could not be used for the needs of the Astraveyts facility.

Lithuania is the staunchest critics of the nuclear facility under construction in Belarus in violation of safety requirements and is ready to boycott the entry of power from this facility into the market. Minsk rejects Vilnius' reproaches.