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14 Sep 2016

Belarus, Lithuania to resume consultations about Belarusian nuclear power plant in Minsk in October

MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) – Belarus and Lithuania will continue consultations about the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Minsk in late October, BelTA learned from Belarusian First Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Iya Malkina on 14 September.

The official explained: “We can state that the Lithuanian side holds certain views on a number of things and the Belarusian side holds views as well. A compromise between these views can be reached, including by means of a bilateral agreement that we are going to discuss in Minsk in late October. The Lithuanian side has already accepted our invitation.”

Speaking about prospects of signing a joint report for the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee, Iya Malkina said that the Belarusian side has not yet abandoned hope that the Lithuanian side will come to understand that the report needs to be prepared.

The First Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister said: “On the whole, we are satisfied with the dialogue during the second round of Belarusian-Lithuanian consultations. The sides agreed that there are issues left to be addressed and the national legislations of Belarus and Lithuania have different methods. At the same time within two days of hard work we managed to discuss quite a large number of items on the agenda, including matters concerning results of the first round of talks.” The official went on saying that the sides had discussed the issues concerning the recent incidents at the nuclear power plant construction site. The sides had also discussed the organization of stress tests and the SEED mission in Belarus as well as technical matters arising from the Belarusian nuclear power plant project and the risk of polluting the Neris River.

Belarusian and Lithuanian experts met in Minsk on 13-14 September for bilateral consultations to discuss technical and scientific aspects of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project. The consultations continued the bilateral dialogue that began in June 2016. A number of matters were discussed, including the design of the nuclear power plant, nuclear safety, radiation protection oversight, including the development of the relevant laws in Belarus, and the organization of environmental monitoring measures.

The Belarusian side included representatives of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, the Energy Ministry, the Healthcare Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, and a number of other central government agencies.

During the first round of consultations that took place in Vilnius on 21-22 June 2016 Belarus gave detailed answers to questions concerning reasons and criteria for choosing the Ostrovets site for building the Belarusian nuclear power plant, the assessment of seismic safety of the Ostrovets site and the alternative sites, and the application of procedures for evaluating environmental impact in a transboundary context.

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