"Nuclear safety is a universal responsibility since, as the lessons of the past have shown, nuclear incidents become a universal disaster. The reputation of nuclear energy is the hands of the IAEA, therefore, ensuring it in Belarus should be a priority task for the organization," the minister said in a statement.

In his words, Belarus is evading the implementation of the EU stress-test recommendations, with violations of international conventions (Espoo, Aarhus) remaining, and also the IAEA safety recommendation have not been fully implemented.

The IAEA director general vowed to get involved in the missions in Belarus and oversee the implementation of recommendations.

The Belarusian authorities say the power plant could start operating in the first quarter of 2020 and they reject Lithuania's criticism over safety standards.