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2020.05.08 09:21

Ukraine joins Lithuania's boycott of Belarusian nuclear energy

BNS 2020.05.08 09:21

Ukraine has agreed to join Lithuania's boycott of electricity from Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant, according to Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

“Although there have been various statements earlier, Ukraine's message is clear now," said Vaičiūnas after discussing the issue with Ukraine's acting Energy and Environment Minister Olga Buslavets on Thursday.

"[Ukraine] does not plan to buy and will not buy electricity from the nuclear power plant under construction in Astravyets either in the short term or the long term,” he added.

Read more: Lithuania urges Belarus to suspend launch of its nuclear plant

Lithuania says the Astravyets nuclear plant 50 kilometres from Vilnius is being built in breach of environmental and safety standarts. Minsk rejects all criticism.

Vilnius has also passed a law barring electricity imports from Belarus once the plant goes online and has been calling on its neighbours to join the boycott.

According to Vaičiūnas, Ukraine's support sends an important message to the EU, the other Baltic countries and Poland.

“Ukraine shows solidarity with Lithuania in its boycott of electricity from the Astravyets nuclear power plant,” he said.

The Ukrainian parliament is debating a bill that would have the country integrate into the European energy system. The law calls for banning commercial electricity imports from non-EU or Energy Union members.

Last month, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda asked Ukraine not to buy electricity from the Atravyets plant.

Latvia's President Egils Levits said earlier this week that his country's government were engaging in “ongoing discussions” about banning Belarusian energy imports.

Read more: Latvia 'discussing' Lithuania's call to bar Belarus' nuclear energy