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4 May 2019

Lithuania accused of groundless, false statements about Belarusian nuclear power plant

MINSK, 4 May (BelTA) – Lithuania resorts to groundless and genuinely false statements about the ongoing Belarusian nuclear power plant project. The statement was made by Anatoly Glaz, Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA has learned.

The statement was made in response to reports of Lithuania contacting the European Commission with an appeal to work out an action plan against the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The statement reads: “Regretfully we are forced to once again state that the Lithuanian side resorts to groundless and genuinely false statements about the ongoing project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant and the measures being taken to ensure the safety of the nuclear power plant.”

Anatoly Glaz reminded that Belarus had never tried to avoid international cooperation in these matters and relies heavily on international expertise and cutting-edge practices, tightly cooperating with the IAEA and other relevant agencies.

“The European Commission remains one of our main partners in efforts to ensure the utmost degree of safety of the future nuclear power plant. The European Commission regularly provides consulting and technical aid to the Belarusian regulatory agency,” Anatoly Glaz stated. “Belarus has repeatedly stated and confirms its intention to continue cooperation with the European Commission in this sphere. The organization of stress tests of the nuclear power plant under construction using European methods is a testimony to that.”

According to the diplomat, Lithuanian specialists took part in a peer review of the stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant and know perfectly well that European regulators had found no problems with the safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. “The peer review mentioned a number of proper practices and gave recommendations on further enhancement of the safety margin of the nuclear power plant, which is an ongoing process for the duration of the entire lifecycle of the nuclear power plant,” he remarked.

An action plan to further enhance the safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was put together as a result of the peer review. Work on the action plan is already in progress. “The time the Belarusian side spent preparing the action plan fits quite well the European practice where this work also took about nine months. However, unlike Lithuania we have nothing to hide as far as the action plan is concerned. The Belarusian national plan will soon be made available to the general public,” the source noted.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that this anxiety of the Lithuanian side about the safety of the entire European Union pursues totally different goals. It is designed to draw attention away from the well-known problems with decommissioning the Ignalina nuclear power plant and the construction of nuclear burial sites near the Belarusian border. “How else can they justify their avoidance of the Belarusian proposal to set up a system to monitor nuclear facilities located in both countries?” wondered the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Anatoly Glaz added that even slightly constructive discussions about the Belarusian nuclear power plant are now viewed by Lithuanian leadership as betrayal while the word “cooperation” in the context of nuclear safety is ferociously stricken out from official bilateral documents.

“Belarus always remains open to a dialogue and constructive interaction with all international partners in the matter of ensuring the safe and effective operation of the future nuclear power plant,” the diplomat stressed.

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