Energy Institute should review its position - Foreign Ministry
After the head of the Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) said that scientists' participation in a project to advise Belarus on the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP) had been green-lighted by the Foreign Ministry, the latter says that the institute should review its position.
"In light of the recently-adopted laws recognizing the Astravyets NPP as unsafe and identifying it as a threat to national security, in the Foreign Ministry's opinion, the institute should re-assess its position," the ministry wrote in a comment to BNS.
According to the ministry, concern was expressed during a meeting with the LEI's representatives over their cooperation with Belarus and they were warned of potential risks.
Meanwhile, Sigitas Rimkevicius, the LEI's head, told the daily Lietuvos Rytas that the ministry's officials "realized that some benefit might be derived from this mission: our scientists can be a reliable source of information".
Darius Degutis, Lithuania's ambassador-at-large coordinating the country's position and steps regarding the Astravyets plant, said that he had not been aware of the Lithuanian scientists' involvement in the EU-funded a project, describing this as a slap in the face.
The project involving the LEI's scientists is financed under the European Commission's Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation, to which Lithuanian contributes some money as well. According to the 15min.lt news website, the project is estimated to cost about 3.5 million euros. Eugenijus Uspuras, head of the LEI's nuclear installation safety laboratory, said that the institute would earn some 100,000 euros from the project.