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

Lithuania should use InvestEU opportunities, Katainen says

As the European Commission proposes cutting cohesion support to Lithuania by almost a quarter as of...

Lithuanians have better opinion about EU than other countries – EP survey

Lithuanians have a favorable opinion about the European Union and the country's EU membership. But...

Lithuanian president, EU leaders to discuss stalling Brexit in Brussels

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is on Wednesday leaving for Brussels to meet with other EU...

Brussels preparing for talks with Russia on Baltic power systems

The European Commission is getting ready to start consultations with Russia over the switching of...

MEP Antanas Guoga: Before regulating any new technology first, we need to educate about it

Today, 03th of October, European Parliament voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on...