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2020.05.05 15:59

Lithuanian parliament ups the ante on Belarus nuclear plant

Sniegė Balčiūnaitė2020.05.05 15:59

The Lithuanian parliament has called on the government to take even more active steps to block electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravyets from the Lithuanian market.

The country has consistently maintained that the facility, to be launched near the Lithuanian border and only about 50 kilometres from Vilnius, is being built in breach of international safety and environmental regulations. Minsk has been rejecting the criticism.

Read more: Vilnius to keep blocking Belarus-EU deal over nuclear project

The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, passed a resolution on Energy Independence and the Threat Posed by the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant on Tuesday with 82 votes in favour, none against and two abstentions.

MP Žygimantas Pavilionis of the conservative Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats said the document would send a clear message to the world that Lithuania would not abandon its position that the facility is unsafe.

MP Artūras Skardžius of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Labour Party said, however, that the resolution would not change anything.

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

Seventeen parliamentarians who drafted the resolution propose that the government take technical measures to block Belarusian electricity from the Lithuanian market even before the launch of the Astravyets plant.

The authors of the document have called for using all possible means to rally support for Lithuania's position from the European Union, EU and NATO member states and the international community.

The facility in Astravyets is constructed by the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom. The Russian government has also given a loan to Belarus to finance the project.

Read more: Lithuanian and Belarusian leaders hold first call in a decade

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