2020.04.24 14:00

Lithuania hopes to sign ban on Belarus’ nuclear energy with other Baltic states

BNS 2020.04.24 14:00

Lithuania expects the other Baltic states to join its boycott of Belarusian nuclear energy before the Astravyets plant becomes operational later this year.

"We can say that these talks are over and the next stage is to complete the signing procedures," Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, who spoke with European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson on Thursday, told BNS.

Read more: Launch of Belarus’ nuclear plant near Lithuania delayed again

"I asked the commissioner to walk the last mile to conclude this process, because the agreed document could be a great example of Baltic unity if signed in the near future," he said.

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

According to the minister, the high-level talks lasted from the autumn 2019 to February this year. If the process is not brought to a conclusion, "we would risk facing negative consequences for our joint projects, such as [the power grid] synchronisation".

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are planning to synchronise their power grid with continental Europe by 2025, switching away form the Moscow-controlled BRELL network that also includes Belarus.

Read more: Lithuanian president signs power grid synchronisation package

During a conversation with other Baltic leaders in early April, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda mentioned that Lithuania and Estonia participated in a political declaration on boycotting electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant, but the document was yet to be signed by Latvia's minister.

The Latvian government in February postponed its decision on whether to approve a joint Baltic position on Astravyets electricity imports.

Riga said last year that electricity trade would be moved to the Latvian border once Lithuania halts imports from Belarus following the launch of the Astravyets plant.

Read more: Belarus’ nuclear ambitions cut into Baltic unity as old scars reopen between Vilnius and Riga