Environment Minister Kęstutis Navickas says that Karmenu Vella, the EU commissioner in charge of environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, has assured him that the European Commission supports Lithuania in raising safety issues at the Astravyets nuclear power plant, which Belarus is building just 50 kilometers from Vilnius.
Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus
© AFP/Scanpix

"We spoke that we needed the European Commission's support regarding the environmental impact assessment report. I mean that we have not received it in a qualitatively acceptable way and that the processes are not yet over," Navickas told BNS by telephone from Brussels after meeting with Vella.

"On the whole, we want a united voice on the Astravyets matter. European security standards should be applied in Belarus. The commissioner promised to pay attention to everything and to support us on all issues," he said.

Lithuania says that Belarus fails to follow safety standards in building the plant, but Minsk rejects the criticism as unfounded.

A number of mishaps and incidents have occurred on the Astravyets construction site. The most serious technical incident took place last July when a nuclear reactor shell was dropped during tests. Russia's Rosatom, the plant's builder, has replaced the shell, delaying the launch of the reactor for at least half a year.

Belarus is building two nuclear reactors of 1,200 megawatts each in Astravyets, with the first unit planned to be switched on in 2019 and the second one in 2020.

Court finds two people guilty of spying for Russia

A Lithuanian court has found two persons guilty of spying for Russia and issued them prison...

Coalition negotiators complete talks but fail to agree on child benefit

Representatives of four parties in Lithuania, holding negotiations on a future ruling coalition ,...

Fake news on military exercise published after several websites were hacked

Fake news on the ongoing military exercise in Lithuania was published on Wednesday when several news...

Remains of last partisan discovered in Vilnius

The remains of Antanas Kraujelis-Siaubunas , Lithuania's last partisan who was killed with a gun in...

Government backs EU plan to ensure net-zero emissions by 2050

Lithuania's government on Wednesday decided to join an initiative by other European countries to set a...