International experts have said that the Astravyets NPP project does not meet the environmental impact requirements. Lithuania has criticised Belarus for failing to ensure safety of the nucelar power plant which is being built 50 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has travelled to Minsk after the EU and the UN renounced sanctions to Belarus. Lithuanian minister says that it is a chance for Minsk to show that the country is ready for reforms.
Mr. Linkevičius said that “these four months is a short time because Lithuania would like to see long-term reforms from Belarus, which is Lithuania‘s neighbour and the two countries have many business relations. The questions about the Astravyets nuclear power plant construction quality, safety requirements were raised. Any doubts about quality standards should be cleared out. It has been difficult for Lithuanian institutions to communicate thus far. <…> Belarus has agreed to have an expert meeting in December to discuss the Espoo (The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context) committee observations.“
Vladimir Makei, Belarusian Foreign Affairs Minister, said that “we are maintaining a very open, sincere and continuous dialogue with our partners from Lithuania. Over the last two weeks, we have had a lot of common activities. Such intensity is understandable when we talk about neighbour states. There is a wide agenda and a lot of questions require continuous observation.”
Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius commented on Thursday that “Lithuania is not going to adapt any infrastructure to that power plant and is not going to buy electricity from Astravyets nuclear power plant”.
The parliamentary ooposition leader, conservative Andrius Kubilius, supported the PM’s position.