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2020.05.11 15:30

Lithuania turns to IAEA in protest against Belarusian nuclear plant

BNS 2020.05.11 15:30

Lithuania has turned to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after nuclear fuel was delivered to the Astravyets NPP without an agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident between Vilnius and Minsk.

"Such a situation is unacceptable and it's an intolerable practice since we are speaking about the safety of states and people," Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas said in a letter to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

Read more: Fearing Belarus’ nuclear plant, Lithuania asks for US support

Despite several IAEA missions to Belarus, Minsk refuses to publish the organisation’s reports and Belarus’ progress in implementing safety recommendations, according to Vaičiūnas.

Minsk therefore undermines transparent evaluation of the missions and their results, said the Lithuanian minister.

Trust in nuclear energy and the IAEA now depends exclusively on the agency's actions and its proper response to the "intolerable situation" in Belarus, he added.

The Belarusian Energy Ministry said last Wednesday that fuel for the first unit at Astravyet's nuclear facility had been delivered. In response, Lithuania called on Minsk to halt the launch of the nuclear power plant.

Lithuania maintains that Belarus is building the Astravyets facility some 50 kilometers from Vilnius in violation of international safety standarts.