There will be no thaw in the energy dialog between the EU and Belarus until Minsk proves that the nuclear power plant it is building not far from Vilnius is safe, EU Energy Union Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said in the Lithuanian capital on Thursday.
Maroš Ševčovič
© Asmeninio albumo nuotr.

"It is very important that EU standard-compliant stress tests are performed. Without these tests, we cannot expect a thaw in that energy dialog with them and this undoubtedly limits our possibilities to cooperate with Belarus. Thus, I believe that Belarus understands how serious we are about this issue," he told members of the Seimas.

According to Sefcovic, the results will be assessed by European regulators, including Lithuanian representatives.

"The committee will draw up recommendations that will say that this or that needs to be improved, that security and safety regulations must be followed. So, I agree that we are at an extremely important stage," the European Commission's vice-president said.

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

The Lithuanian parliament last April adopted a decision to restrict electricity imports from the Astravyets plant and other unsafe nuclear facilities in third countries.

The government in June 2016 endorsed an embargo plan for restricting, via Nord Pool's Lithuanian bidding area, the import of electricity from Astravyets and other third-country plants to Lithuania and, at the same time, other EU member states. Poland has said recently that it is joining Lithuania's initiative.

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