Rosatom, Russia's state corporation that is building nuclear power plants in Europe, Asia and Middle East, is turning into an instrument of geopolitical pressure, Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said during his visit to the United States.
Rosatom
© Reuters/Scanpix

Masiulis met with Amos Hochstein, special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs at the US Department of State, and Samantha Carl-Yoder, chief of staff for the Bureau of Energy Resources at the Department of State, in Washington on Thursday.

"I pointed out that while everybody looked geopolitically at what Gazprom was doing, attention should be paid to what Rosatom is doing. We can call it Russia's new Gazprom, where not only energy influence, but also geopolitical influence will be exerted," he told BNS by phone from Washington.

In Masiulis' words, US officials see the Astravyets nuclear power plant that Rosatom is building in Belarus, close to the border with Lithuania, as "a strategically important project in a pejorative sense".

"(US officials) take it very seriously. They have analyzed the situation very well and they understand that energy is a geopolitical instrument and often, especially when it comes to Russia, political goals are sought. Likewise, they regard Astravyets as a strategically important project in a pejorative sense," he said.

Rosatom is building nuclear power plants in Russia and Belarus and has signed agreements to build facilities in Finland, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

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