Commenting on Minsk's statement that negotiations are underway with neighbors on the supply of electricity from its yet-to-be-finished Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant, the Lithuanian Energy Ministry reiterated on Wednesday that it is not holding any talks with Belarus and that a law bans selling power imported from the facility on the Lithuanian market.
At the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant building site
© Sputnik / Scanpix

"Well before the launch of operations by the Astravyets NPP, concrete administrative and regulatory measures will be worked out and adopted to prevent direct access for electricity from Belarus to the market of Lithuania and, hence, of the EU as a whole. There should be no doubt about this," Aurėlija Vernickaitė, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian energy minister, told BNS.

"Moreover, under the existing agreements between transmission system operators of the Baltic countries, trading of third-country electricity in these countries is only possible through Lithuania", she said.

The Lithuanian parliament in June 2017 passed a law declaring the Astravyets plant, under construction just 50 kilometers from Vilnius, a threat to national security, environment and public health.

The government in September 2017 endorsed an action plan for blocking electricity imports from the Astravyets facility. The plan calls for restricting the transmission capacity for electricity from Belarus, imposing a cross-border transmission charge on power imports from it and banning the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant from providing services to the neighboring country.

Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Olga Prudnikova said on Wednesday that the country was in talks with neighbors on power supplies from the Astravyets plant. Belarus plans to switch on its first reactor in mid-2019, with the second one to be put into operation in mid-2020.

According to Prudnikova, Belarus has exported more that 700 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to Lithuania since the start of this year.

Lithuania is the main critic of the Astravyets plant, saying that the project fails to meet international safety standards, but Minsk rejects the criticism.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Vilnius mayor: government not pulling out of stadium project

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has assured him...

New chief of defense: I am a realist and don’t dream about things we cannot have

Lithuania's incoming chief of defense , Major General Valdemaras Rupsys , says he will seek to...

Russian oil contamination suspect seeking political asylum in Lithuania

Roman Ruzhechko , a suspect in a Russian oil pipeline contamination probe who was detained in...

10 unreported moments: Grybauskaite's diplomacy behind-the-scenes

With Dalia Grybauskaite having ended her second term as Lithuanian president, here is a look at her...

Most-advanced US fighter jets land in Lithuania for 1st time

The United States' most-advanced fighter jets F-35 landed in Lithuania on Thursday.