The Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) suspects that another incident occurred last week at a nuclear power plant that Belarus is building in Astravyets, just 50 kilometres from Vilnius.
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

"I can confirm that the VSD is verifying the information about an alleged incident at the Astravyets nuclear power plant," VSD spokesman Vytautas Makauskas said.

Lithuanian Environment Minister Kestutis Treciokas said hat he had also heard that an incident had occurred and that it was "more serious" that the previous one.

"I am currently on an official trip in Georgia. Before leaving (for Georgia) yesterday evening, I heard that something had happened, but I cannot say anything more concrete. As far as I understood, this is something more serious than before," he said.

This would be the second known incident on the Astravyets site.

The structural frame of a nuclear service building to be erected between the plant's two reactors collapsed around a month ago. Belarus' officials initially denied the incident, but later confirmed the information.

Vilnius is the most ardent critic of the Astravyets project, saying that Belarus fails to ensure safety at the plant that is being built just 20 kilometers from the border and 50 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital. Vilnius demands that international experts be brought in to monitor the construction.

Minsk rejects Lithuania's criticism, saying that it will ensure the highest safety standards at the facility.

Lithuania and Belarus will hold bilateral consultations in June over the project, which is being developed by Russia's nuclear energy corporation Rosatom.

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