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8 Jun 2017

Belarus’ MFA against emotionally charged comments regarding Belarusian NPP

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) – Any comments regarding the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) that is currently under construction should be free of emotion, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told the media as he commented on Lithuania’s critical remarks about the project, BelTA has learned.

“We believe that emotions should not dominate interstate relations. We repeatedly noted that the Belarusian NPP is a national project that is built primarily for our domestic needs,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

He added that matters related to the construction of the BelNPP will be discussed at the upcoming Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention in Minsk. Among other things, the meeting will review the compliance of at least five countries with their commitments under the Espoo Convention.

“We are not an isolated case. We expect that the delegations of the parties will take into account the arguments and concrete actions of the parties to the dispute, Belarus and Lithuania, and arrive at a balanced non-discriminatory decision. Espoo is a convention that has mostly European countries as its signatories. This means that if the European Union takes one position, it automatically gets 28 votes out of 45. This is enough to get any decision approved. We hope that priority will be given to the promotion of meaningful cooperation rather than block solidarity,” Dmitry Mironchik stressed.

Belarus’ position is that it took the necessary steps outlined in the convention to make the decision to launch the construction of the nuclear power plant. The country is ready for constructive cooperation with all stakeholders and suggests reasonable collaboration formats. Nuclear safety and security are a top priority for Belarus.

“As we implement the project to build the BelNPP, we make our best to ensure the highest possible level of nuclear safety, cooperate closely with the IAEA, and other partners including the European Commission, making full use of the expertise,” Dmitry Mironchik emphasized.

BelTA reported earlier that Belarus will host the seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and the third session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol from 13 to 16 June. The events will bring together over 200 representatives of 45 countries signatories to the Espoo Convention, including ministers, deputy heads of environmental protection ministries and other agencies, high-ranking officials from international organizations, financial institutions, and members of the public. It is expected that the Minsk declaration will be signed at the joint high-level segment.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is a project to build a new-generation nuclear power plant with two VVER-1200 type reactors (1,200MW each) 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.


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