VILNIUS – Vilnius has handed in a diplomatic note to Minsk in response to the latter's plans to switch on Unit 2 of the controversial Astravyets nuclear power plant or start its physical launch at the end of this year.
Once the unit is launched, nuclear safety and environmental threats for Lithuania and other countries in the region will double, Lithuania's Foreign Ministry said.
"Therefore, we demand that Belarus refrains from this irresponsible and threat-increasing decision. Lithuania also demands the operation of the nuclear power plant's Unit 1 to be stropped until all modern nuclear safety requirements are implemented," the statement reads.
The note also says Lithuania will take all possible diplomatic, political, legal and technical measures to protect the wellbeing of its residents and national security interests as long as the Astravyets nuclear power plant operates.
Lithuania maintains that the Astravyets nuclear facility was built in violation of safety and environmental requirements, which Minsk denies.