Lithuania hopes for US backing over Astravyets NNP, energmin says
Lithuanian Energy Minister Žygimantas Vaičiūnas hopes Washington will back Lithuania in its effort to stop the construction of the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus, or to block power from the nuclear facility, if it started operating.
"The Astravyets issue was raised at my initiative. Just like on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, we share the view that there's no situation we would see as a point of no return. At any stage of the project, we need to do everything to stop the projects or delay their implementation. I hope for the United States' major contribution to preventing the nuclear risk near the NATO border, namely in Lithuania," Vaičiūnas told BNS Lithuania on Thursday following his visit to the United States earlier this week.
The minister hopes the United States look at its ties with Belarus through the prism of the Astravyets power plant.
"Just like the European Commission linked the implementation of the stress-test recommendations with the EU-Belarusian relations, so the United States should make a similar link for any ties of the United States with Belarus not to have prospect until the latter has not implemented the stress-test recommendations. It was my request and I felt support and I think it’s a matter of time for it to become reality," Vaičiūnas said.
Lithuania accuses Belarus of failing to comply with international safety standards in building its new nuclear power plant in Astravyets, some 50 kilometers from Vilnius.