Lithuania cannot cooperate with Belarus because of the construction of the nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ostrovets. If it does, that would mean Lithuania recognizes the station as legitimate and would lose the opportunity to demand its closure, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said, according to DELFI.
A plant of discord.
“Any cooperation or mutual institute will mean legitimization of the Ostrovets NPP. It means our hands will be tied and we won’t be able to demand the closure of the plant,” the President of Lithuania told journalists on Tuesday.
According to Grybauskaite, this also applies to Belarus’ proposal to create a joint monitoring system for the Ostrovets NPP. She stressed that “it is impossible to ensure the safety” of the power plant in Ostrovets.
“According to the decision of Espoo, the problem is not in the safety of the power plant, but in the safety of the site for its construction. This means that the power plant can not function at all and this should be the political goal of Lithuania,” Grybauskaite stated.
A decade of argument
The construction of Belarus NPP in cooperation with the Russian corporation Rosatom started in 2009 in Ostrovets, 50 km away from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Lithuania considers the project unsafe and has repeatedly claimed that Minsk does not comply with international nuclear safety requirements.
The Lithuanian parliament declared the Belarusian nuclear power plant a threat to national security. Vilnius claimed it would not allow electricity from the Belarusian NPP through Lithuanian power lines to other countries.
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Belarus, in its turn, claims that the demands of Lithuania have political nature; and stresses that the safety of the nuclear power plant will be ensured in accordance with the highest standards.
At the beginning of May, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry announced that it had sent an appeal to the European Commission with a call to develop an action plan for the Belarusian NPP.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated Belarus’ intention to continue cooperation with the EU on the NPP. Belarus conducts stress tests, it said, however “the slightest constructive discussion of the Belarusian NPP is perceived by the Lithuanian leadership as treason”.
The launch of the Belarusian NPP is scheduled for the end of 2019.