Lithuania did not contribute to the choice of a different location for the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which is being built in Belarus close to the Lithuanian border, says Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis, adding that the only thing the country can do now to stop the project is to restrict access of the plant's electricity to the Lithuanian market.
Viktoras Pranckietis
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"Yes, we want to take a decision in any way possible and prevent the power plant from being built but people probably does not necessarily expect the alleged thoughts but a somewhat more realistic thinking. The power plant is currently 90 percent complete. It was not a big issue at the time of the selection of the construction site. There were proposals to build it in the other side of Belarus but we did not then contribute as a country," Pranckietis told Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.

"The only thing we can declare now is that yes, we are disconnecting the network, we do not provide physical possibilities for the plant to operate. This is a major halting bolt or a way or a method. Barring it from using our Kruonis Pumped Storage Hydro Power Plant is also a way of halting," he added.

Earlier this month, leaders of Lithuania's political parties represented in the parliament agreed to step up the coordination of blocking of electricity from the Belarusian Astravyets facility. Signed by leaders of eight parties, the document pledges unified support to a law that would list the Belarusian plant as unsafe and ban selling its electricity on the Lithuanian energy market.

Lithuania's government maintains that the Astravyets facility under construction some 50 km from Vilnius falls short of safety standards. The power plant will feature two reactors, 1,200 megawatts (MV) each. The first reactor should be launched in 2019, with inauguration of the second one expected in 2020.

Belarus has rejected the Lithuanian criticism, saying that the power plant would follow the highest security standards.

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