Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel says in Vilnius he understands the Lithuanian government's anxiety over the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) under construction in Belarus, expressing support to the goal of ensuring the plant's security via international organizations.
Sigmar Gabriel, German Foreign Minister
© Reuters / Scanpix

"We understand very well the Lithuanian concerns over the power plant that is being constructed. We support the Lithuanian goal of ensuring security of the power plant under construction by way of turning to the International Atomic Energy Agency," Gabriel said at a joint news conference with Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius in Vilnius on Wednesday evening.

The German minister said that, throughout his political career, he had been skeptical about nuclear utilities, as energy generated in such power plants is too expensive and requires subsidies.

"Not a single power plant is being built in Europe that is not subsidized, and this is the reason we should all transfer to renewable energy resources," Gabriel said.

Lithuania's government fears that the Astravyets NPP is being built merely 50 km from Vilnius in violation of safety standards and may derail the Baltic plans of synchronizing their electricity systems with Western Europe.

However, the Lithuanian calls to block energy generated by the power plant has not yet secured firm support from European Union (EU) institutions or neighboring countries. The Belarusian administration maintains the nuclear utility is built in accordance to top safety standards.

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