Estonia's new president says that the European Union should not give market access to electricity from the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus if environmental risks are not reflected in its price.
President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"On Astravyets, there is clearly a problem if all the costs, including environmental costs and risks, are not internalized into the price scheme. In that case Europe should not accept such energy on its market," Kersti Kaljulaid said after meeting with her Lithuanian counterpart in Vilnius on Wednesday.

Some energy experts have said repeatedly that electricity generated by the Astravyets plant should be barred from the market not only because of safety concerns, but also because of lower environmental and construction safety standards in the EU's eastern neighbors, which allow them to sell electricity at lower prices.

Belarus is building two nuclear reactors of 1,200 megawatts each in Astravyets, just 50 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. The first unit is planned to be switched on in 2018 and the second one in 2020.

Lithuania says that Belarus fails to follow safety standards in building the plant, but Minsk rejects the criticism as unfounded.

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