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Opinions & Interviews

1 Feb 2019

Belarus’ ambassador: BelNPP is an overly politicized issue in Lithuania

Belarus’ ambassador: BelNPP is an overly politicized issue in Lithuania

MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – The Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) construction issue is too politicized in Lithuania, outgoing Ambassador of Belarus to Lithuania Alexander Korol said in an interview to the Lithuanian weekly newspaper Ekspress Nedelia, BelTA has learned.

“This issue is overly politicized in Lithuania and significantly influences the development of bilateral relations. We have noticed that many politicians or heads of departments are afraid of visiting Belarus and in general avoid showing their positive attitude towards the neighbors. Businessmen prefer not to advertise their investments in the Belarusian economy and are often made to explain the reason for doing business in our country,” said Alexander Korol.

According to him, Lithuania’s unfounded claims towards the BelNPP project and calls to stop the construction of the plant sound like a broken record. “Lithuania interprets the results of the work of international missions in its own way, sometimes disagreeing with the conclusions of authoritative international experts. At the same time, I would like to emphasize that it is only Lithuania that takes such a non-constructive position regarding the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The other neighboring countries do not share this opinion and adhere to a more pragmatic approach, including to the issue of purchasing electricity,” the ambassador said.

The ambassador mentioned some statistics as well. In 2018, for example, Lithuania bought about 1 billion kW/h worth €50 million in Belarus. This is 8.5 times up from the year before. “All of this shows that populism is inappropriate when it comes to such important issues for the state. There should always be a backup plan. I am confident that one day this sensitive issue will be removed from the agenda of bilateral relations, and pragmatic approaches will prevail in Lithuania,” said Alexander Korol.

He once again stressed that Belarus is fulfilling its obligations to the IAEA and European nuclear safety organizations in full. “After all, we are the ones that primarily interested in our nuclear plant to be built in compliance with technology and meet absolutely all safety criteria,” the ambassador added.

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