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Double standards must not apply to a new nuclear power plant that Belarus is building in Astravyets, close to its border with Lithuania, EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said on Friday.
EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis
EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis
© AFP/Scanpix

"The European Commission has a good example, that is, a nuclear power plant under construction in Finland, where European standards are applied. The same scale of requirements will apply to the Astravyets plant. There can't be double standards," the Lithuanian member of the Commission said in a news conference after meeting with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in Vilnius.

"The European Commission cooperates with Belarus' government and the responsible authorities and in performing stress tests, the same requirements must apply as in Finland, because this is a safety issue and there will be no compromise," he said.

Butkevičius reiterated that the Astravyets plant must be built in compliance with the environmental and nuclear safety standards.

The Astravyets plant's safety will be an item on the agenda of Butkevičius' planned meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels in early June.

The EU's executive body expects that Belarus will complete stress tests at the Astravyets plant this year or next year.

Maros Sefcovic, the Commission's Vice-President for the Energy Union, and Miguel Arias Canete, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, have said this in a letter to the Greens in the European Parliament.

According to the letter, the Commission will demand that Belarus review the project before switching the Astravyets plant on. The stress tests will be reviewed in Brussels as well.

BNS
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