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Opinions & Interviews

14 Sep 2016

Lithuania invited for joint monitoring of environmental situation in BelNPP zone

Lithuania invited for joint monitoring of environmental situation in BelNPP zone

MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) – Belarus invites Lithuania to jointly monitor the environmental situation in the area around the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), Belarusian First Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Iya Malkina told media, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus invites Lithuania for a constructive dialogue. We will not stop the construction and I do not the reasons that can lead to such a step. Belarus believes that it would be right to monitor the situation in the BelNPP zone together with Lithuania,” the First Deputy Minister said.

When asked on the choice of the site for the future plant, Iya Malkina explained that Belarus conducted the environmental impact assessment analysis of three sites. “This was enough to fulfill the requirements of the Espoo Convention,” she said.

According to the First Deputy Minister, Belarus is responsible in its participation in the Espoo Convention. “Minsk will host a meeting of the Espoo Convention member states in June 2017. Belarus would not have taken up such a decision if it had doubts regarding its objectivity and honesty in the implementation of the Convention,” Iya Malkina said.

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.

Belarus was represented at the meeting by 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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