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Opinions & Interviews

13 Jan 2017

MFA: Belarus seeks to develop good-neighborly relations with Lithuania

MFA: Belarus seeks to develop good-neighborly relations with Lithuania

MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) – Belarus seeks to develop the relations with Lithuania in the spirit of friendship and good-neighborliness and is against politicizing the issues of environment and energy, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told a press briefing.

“We seek to develop our relations with Lithuania in the spirit of friendship and good-neighborliness. Belarus maintains open and transparent contacts with the IAEA, the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), and the European Commission in matters related to the construction of the nuclear power plant. Not only do we declare readiness. We also carry out stress tests, gearing up to host a SEED-mission and conduct a bilateral dialogue with Lithuania on the issues they are concerned with,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

“Given this, we view the attempts to politicize environmental and energy issues, to threaten economic sanctions as unprofessional and counterproductive. More so, the conclusions of the mission, that Lithuania has been talking about so much recently, have not been released yet. In our opinion, everybody should respect the authority and opinion of the international organizations working professionally in this field. We hope that the European Union will have enough experience and expertise to make an informed non-politicized decision on the matter,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

The comments of the spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed the reports of Lithuanian mass media that Vilnius intends to initiate adoption of a certain act in the European Commission, under which the EU states would pledge not to buy “environmentally dirty” electricity, including the electricity to be made by Belarus’ NPP and the Kaliningrad NPP if it is built.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the third round of expert consultations with Lithuania on the Belarusian NPP is scheduled for the first quarter of this year. “I do not agree with the assertion that dialogue and consultations at the expert level bring no results. Both sides, Belarus and Lithuania, recognized the usefulness of face-to-face peer dialogue and agreed to continue this practice. I do not rule out that the third round will be followed by a fourth, and so on. Dialogue gives an opportunity to better understand each other's positions and move towards a compromise,” he stressed.

“With regard to the logic of the Belarusian side, we proceed from the understanding that nuclear power is an important topic. More importantly, it will remain a long-term aspect of Belarus-Lithuania bilateral cooperation: next to our common border, we have the Belarusian nuclear power plant that is currently under construction, the Ignalina nuclear power plant which is being decommissioned and a new nuclear power plant that might be built in Visaginas. All this requires effective bilateral cooperation mechanisms and exchange of information,” Dmitry Mironchik said.

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