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2019.10.08 10:30

Political discussions failed to rally Lithuanian neighbours against Belarusian nuclear plant

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS2019.10.08 10:30

Discussions on Belarus' nuclear plant should move from the political to a technical level, where Lithuanians could convince its neighbours not to buy electricity from the facility, according to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.

Nausėda hopes that technical arguments can demonstrate to Estonia and Latvia that buying electricitity from Astravyets NPP would not provide economic benefit and would undermine Baltic energy syncronization with Western Europe.

"Ministers and energy experts would very clearly explain the whole chain of decisions or consequences that might be related to this, as yet, limited solidarity, and then we should let our partners decide," Nausėda said.

The Lithuanian government says Belarus is building the nuclear facility close to its border in violation of safety standards and has called for blocking power imports from the power plant.

Neighboring Latvia, however, says a blockade would increase power prices and pose threat to the security of energy supplies. Therefore, the possibility still exists that electricity could enter the Baltic market via Russia and Latvia.

Nausėda said on Monday "today it would really be premature to consider something as finally decided".

"At the political level […] both the Belarusians and partners in the Baltic states and the EU are informed about our principled decision not to buy" electricity from the nuclear plant, according to Nausėda. "Then the question is that even if [Astravyets NPP] starts operating, what the economic model and feasibility would be."