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30 Mar 2016

Lithuanian specialists to visit Belarus in April to discuss BelNPP project

MINSK, 30 March (BelTA) – Specialists from Lithuania plan to visit Belarus in April to discuss the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), Belarus’ Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Andrei Kovkhuto told a press conference held on 30 March to mark Geologists Day, BelTA has learned.

“Specialists from Lithuania are expected to come to Belarus in April to discuss the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The exact date of the visit is yet to be set,” the minister noted.

Andrei Kovkhuto stressed that Belarus is ready to provide its counterparts from the neighboring country will all necessary information. “The international discussion of the matter was held in Geneva in March. Our position was accepted. Now we will engage in the bilateral discussions,” he explained.

In March Geneva hosted the 35th session of the Implementation Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention). Partaking in the meeting on the invitation of the committee were delegations of Belarus and Lithuania. The Belarusian delegation was led by First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Iya Malkina. The delegation also comprised Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention) expects the signatories to notify and consult each other about all the major projects that can have a considerable negative transboundary impact on the environment. Belarus became a party to the Convention on 8 February 2006.

In June 2011 Lithuania submitted a complaint to the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee about Belarus’ failure to observe the Convention while planning the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. After looking into the matter the Committee and later on the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention gave recommendations both to Belarus and Lithuania on ways to ensure the fulfillment of the Convention with regard to the Belarusian nuclear power plant project. The recommendations also encouraged the two countries to work together.

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