The safety of the Astravyets nuclear power plant that Belarus is building near the border with Lithuania should be a matter of concern for the entire European Union, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has said, calling on the EU to seriously consider restricting the import of electricity generated by that facility to the EU market.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© AFP/Scanpix

“We all remember the Chernobyl tragedy. Unsafe nuclear power plants that do not comply with international standards pose a threat to all European people. Hence, we have to concentrate the efforts of the EU and the whole international community and demand that the Astravyets nuclear power plant would comply with the most stringent international safety standards, that a transparent and independent environmental impact assessment would be carried out and risk and safety assessments would be performed,” Grybauskaitė said in a press release after a meeting with Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s Vice-President for the Energy Union, in Vilnius on Monday.

The nuclear facility in Astravyets should not create additional obstacles for electricity generation in the country, for efforts to increase energy efficiency or for the aspiration of the Baltic countries to synchronize their grids with those of continental Europe, she said.

The meeting also emphasized that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which Russia planned to build across the Baltic Sea, ran counter to the goals of the EU Energy Union and might be used as a tool for sowing disunity among member states. Grybauskaitė also questioned the commercial value of the project in particular, as the existing Nord Stream 1 was only used at half capacity.

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