2020.02.18 08:30

Movement against Belarus' nuclear plant sends open letter to Lukashenko

A recently established movement in Lithuania against the Belarusian nuclear plant gathered for the first time on Saturday. They pledged to send a letter to the Belarusian leader and also collect signatures for an EP resolution.

The anti-Astravyets movement, established by Lithuanian politicians and various public figures, seeks to block Belarus’ energy exports to the EU and halt the plant’s further expansion.

“We have translated [our petition into] at least four languages,” MP Žygimantas Pavilionis from the conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) told reporters

Read more: Belarus' nuclear project 'ignores' lessons of Chernobyl – Nobel prize winner

He said the movement will present the signatures at the European Parliament in time for the April 26 Chernobyl anniversary.

“We adopted an open letter to Lukashenko written in Belarusian, and we plan to give it to the Belarusian Embassy next week for it to be handed over to their boss," said Pavilionis.

The letter to Lukashenko states that "the public anti-Astravyets movement in Lithuania is not anti-Belarusian".

The letter claims that Kremlin and Rosatom, the principle developer of the nuclear plant, are taking advantage of Belarus.

Read more: Belarus to 'look at' safety recommendations before nuclear plant launch – FM Linkevičius

“Lithuania finds Rosatom’s venture in Astravyets as exceptionally dangerous. We propose not to force the launch of the first unit” in breach of “international safety requirements," the letter reads. "Time is needed for a better solution. Find it.”

The letter also suggests resolving the Astravyets NPP problem in the context of bilateral, as well as Belarusian–EU relations.

Read more: Baltics in talks to ban energy imports from Belarus nuclear plant

The first gathering of the movement was also attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Belarusian opposition figures, and others.

Belarus plans to bring nuclear fuel for the first reactor in the first quarter of 2020.

Lithuania claims that the nuclear plant some 50 kilometres from Vilnius is unsafe and was built in violation of international safety standards. Minsk denies all allegations.