Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Lithuania, Nuclear power plant

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 06.12.2019, 01:17

Lithuanian PM says he has 'rational' proposal to Minsk over N-plant

BC, Vilnius, 28.02.2019.Print version
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says he will propose a "rational" solution to Belarus regarding the Astravyets nuclear power plant, which is vehemently criticized by Lithuania, but he gives no details apart from saying that Minsk will not be asked to close the almost-complete facility, accroding to the news website reported on Thursday writes LETA/BNS.

"What can we do now? We have a plan. We'll propose a solution to the Belarusians. A rational one. Not the one that says 'Shut it down'," Skvernelis, who intends to run for president in May's elections, said during a meeting with the local community in the town of Kedainiai. 

When asked by 15min to elaborate, Tomas Berzinskas, the prime minister's spokesman, said Skvernelis would not make further comment, adding that he would do so later. 

Virginijus Poderys, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Commission for Energy and Sustainable Development, said the prime minister had not yet discussed his plans with him. 

Poderys, who is a member of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's political group in the Seimas, added there had been no proposals yet to amend a law that reflects Lithuania's position on the Astravyets project. 

Liberal MP Eugenijus Gentvilas, a member of the parliamentary commission, links Skvernelis' statements to the upcoming elections, but says this could be a signal that the government plans to revise Lithuania's position on the nuclear power plant. 

"This raises questions (and could be an indication) that these things could be realized via the government. I don't know what these things are, but what is clear to me is that they would apparently run counter to the existing law," he said.  

Back in June 2017, the Seimas passed a law declaring the Astravyets plant a threat to national security, environment and public health. The government later approved an action plan for blocking electricity imports from the plant under construction just 50 kilometers from Vilnius.

Lithuania says the project fails to meet international safety standards, but Minsk rejects the criticism as unfounded.

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