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Lithuania urges Belarus to comply with nuclear safety regulations

BC, Vilnius, 19.08.2013.Print version
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania has urged Belarus to comply strictly with international nuclear safety and environmental regulations while developing its nuclear energy sector. Next, to adequately implement provisions of the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) and findings of the Implementation Committee.

Espoo Convention Implementation Committee had issued its findings on April 15 and stated that Belarus had violated the Convention, had not submitted nuclear power plant project's environmental impact assessment information to Lithuania. The Committee also determined that Lithuania's questions regarding construction site choice, seismic research and impact on Lithuanian citizens, underground waters and Neris River were justified, reported LETA.

Espoo Convention Implementation Committee urged Belarus to provide answers to all Lithuania's questions, take into consideration Lithuanian experts' observations and implement all other Espoo Convention obligations.

On August 17 in Belarusian town of Astravyets a meeting was organized which was presented as informing Lithuanian public about the nuclear power plant construction.

However, the Lithuanian MFA points out that Lithuania was not provided with environmental impact assessment documentation of Belarusian nuclear power plant which would meet Espoo Convention requirements. Furthermore, by inviting Lithuanian public to Astravyets, Belarus ignored environmental impact assessment introduction stage, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition, the MFA notes that the decision by Belarus to hold an event for Lithuanian public in the territory of Belarus had restricted Lithuanian citizens' rights to access information about the nuclear power plant project.

The United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) is the primary international document providing the necessity for neighboring countries to cooperate regarding nuclear power plant construction issues.


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