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2019.05.07 12:54

Lithuania mustn't 'legitimise' Belarusian nuclear plant, president says

LRT.lt 2019.05.07 12:54

Lithuania should seek to close down Belarus' nuclear power plant rather than join radiation monitoring systems, according to President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

The president criticised Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis' apparent willingness to accept his Belarusian counterpart's proposal to build a common radiation monitoring system for the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant whose construction Lithuania vehemently opposes.

Any such agreement to partake in joint institutions would “legitimise the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant,” Grybauskaitė said on Tuesday.

“And this would mean we're tying up our hands and wouldn't be able to demand from Belarus to close down the plant. Ensuring safety in it is impossible,” according to the president.

She pointed out that the issue with the Belarusian plant, which is in the final stages of construction, was its location, merely 50 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital city.

The parties to the Espoo Convention concluded in February that the choice of the plant's construction site violated the convention.

“This power plant cannot be put into operation at all and this should be Lithuania's political goal,” Grybauskaitė said.

PM Skvernelis previously suggested to the Belarusian government to convert the facility into a gas-powered power plant. Minsk rejected the offer, instead inviting Lithuania to take part in a radiation monitoring system.

Read more: Lithuanian PM splits government opinion over Belarus nuclear plant