Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Thursday met with representatives of various political groups of the country's parliament, urging them to pool their efforts over the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus some 50 km from Vilnius.
Zones of radioctive termination of the Astravyets nuclear power plant

"A unified Lithuanian stance and cohesion is the fundamental condition for defending Lithuania's interests," the minister said in a press release issued after the meeting.

According to the communique, Linkevicius and the parliamentarians discussed "the threats of the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant to national security, public health and environment."

Among the participants of the meeting was Linkevičius' party fellow, Gediminas Kirkilas of the Social Democratic Party, conservatives Andrius Kubilius and Dainius Kreivys, as well as Virgilijus Poderys of the ruling Peasant and Green Union.

The foreign minister said after the meeting that the Lithuanian interests would be defended by "an updated national agreement among political parties and a clear signal that the Lithuanian market would not include electricity generated in power plants that threaten our security, human health and environment."

Lithuanian politicians representing both ruling and opposition political groups say that the Astravyets facility being built merely 50 km from Vilnius definitely falls short of safety standards. The opposition conservatives who have initiated a bill to boycott Belarusian electricity have criticized the ruling bloc for failing to prioritize the issue. Meanwhile, the ruling parties say it is the conservatives who should be held accountable, as the construction was started during their rule, adding that internal disputes prevent Lithuania from securing international support.

Belarus has dismissed the Lithuanian criticism as ungrounded and politically motivated, adding that the nuclear power plant was being built in accordance to all security standards.

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