The European Commission remains committed to providing funding for the decommissioning of Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, said after meeting with EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Vilnius on Thursday.
Ignalina NPP
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"They (the EU) understand our need. (...) Commissioner Oettinger said that he is well aware of this situation and that this is a European commitment and it will be honored," Pranckietis told reporters.

"We just say what our future financing need is. We have a clear plan that calls for the nuclear power plant to be decommissioned and its grounds leveled and sown with grass seed by 2038," he said.

However, Lithuania will in the near future have to substantiate why funding for the Ignalina decommissioning needs to be extended, the speaker added.

In line with its EU accession commitments, Lithuania shut down the first unit of the Soviet-era facility, which was considered unsafe by the West, in late 2004 and closed the second unit at the end of 2009. It was planned in 2011 that the decommissioning would be completed by 2029, but the deadline was later extended to 2038.

According to Pranckietis, Lithuania needs another 1.5 billion euros for the dismantling work, with the EU expected to provide 1.2 billion euros.

Lithuania was allocated 837.4 million euros in EU funds for the INPP's decommissioning for the 2007-2013 period and another 450.8 million euros for 2014-2020.

Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas does not expect easy talks with Brussels on further funding after 2020.

BNS
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