Lithuania’s minister for environmental issues Valentinas Mazuronis deems pointless the negotiations between Minsk and Vilnius over the nuclear power plant in Astraviec.
According to him, there can be no constructive discussion between the states until Belarus provides detailed answers regarding the power plant in accordance with the Espoo Convention, obzor.lt reports.
“I believe that such a discussion is generally illegal and it is worthless, since the essence of the discussion comes down to the fact that the state, building a nuclear power plant, informs the neighbors – in this case Belarus informs Lithuania, answering all the questions. (. . .) Belarus sent formal responses, but these responses were not detailed and have left a lot unclear for us. The unclear issues are significant, this is the safety of the future nuclear power plant, the choice of the site – why this place exactly, so close to Vilnius, what are the geological parameters and all rest. (. . .) Such a discussion reminds me in a way of a discussion between a deaf man and a dumb one, Belarus is trying to impose such a discussion on us”, - Valentinas Mazuronis said.
According to him, so far there are no specific answers. It is even unclear what Lithuanian specialists could ask about the nuclear power plant planned to be built. Valentinas Mazuronis said that a discussion may take place between Lithuania and Belarus, when Minsk fulfills the requirements of the Espoo Convention, and the discussion being arranged now is just an attempt to speed up the process.
“Our leverage and our opportunity here is to use diplomatic sources and international agreements. Now we are talking about the Espoo Convention and its requirements that not only us, but all the other countries, which have signed the Convention, put pressure and demanded Belarus to apply maximum security and avoid threats for the citizens of our country, while implementing its projects”, - Valentinas Mazuronis said.
Belarus’ embassy to Lithuania has announced that on 17 August a meeting with public and specialists from Lithuania will take place in Astraviec on the issue of the assessment of the nuclear power plant project’s influence on the environment.
Lithuania has claimed that such a decision does not meet the requirements of the Espoo Convention, limits the possibility of Lithuania citizens’ participation in such events and does not contribute to the constructive character of the dialogue between the two countries over the issue of the Astraviec nuclear power plant’s security.
Lithuania repeatedly criticized Belarus for not ensuring security while developing the Astraviec nuclear power plant project. The power plant is meant to be built in mere 50 km from Vilnius.
Photo: Irmanto Gelūno/15min.lt nuotr.