In an unconventional effort to convince EU officials that Belarus' nuclear power plant is a safety hazard, the Lithuanian government has arranged a hot-air balloon ride for the bloc's energy commissioner to show him how close the construction site is to the Lithuanian capital.
Hot-air balloons in Lithuanian country side

Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission's Vice-President for Energy Union, was accompanied by Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas on the hot- air balloon flight on Tuesday evening.

"The wind was blowing to the east and we could see how close Astravyets is to Vilnius," Aurelija Vernickaitė, an advisor to the minister, told BNS.

Russia's state corporation Rosatom is building the nuclear power plant in Astravyets, some 50 kilometers from Vilnius. Lithuania maintains that the project falls short of safety and environmental standards, but Minsk rejects the criticism as unfounded.

In an effort to hamper the project, Lithuania's authorities plan to bar market access for electricity that will be produced by the plant and call on other countries in the region to join the effort.

In an interview published by business daily Verslo Žinios on Wednesday, Sefcovic was cautious about the initiative, saying there are question marks over how a ban on electricity imports is compatible with WTO rules and how this would help increase nuclear safety.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian president calls for avoiding chaotic Brexit

Attending an informal meeting of EU leaders on Thursday, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė...

Lithuania proposes to create single set of external border standards in EU

President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented Lithuania's initiative to introduce a single set of external...

Europe needs lasting solutions to counter illegal migration - president Grybauskaitė

The European Union remains the center of attraction for economic refugees seeking a better life...

Lithuanian president, EU leaders to discuss Brexit, migration in Salzburg

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for the Austrian city of Salzburg where she will...

Chances for Lithuania to get more funding for N-plant closure increasing – expert

A proposal for the European Parliament to approve the allocation of 780 million euros for the...