25 May 2017, Thursday, 8:11

Adam Lelonek: NPP in Astravets Is an Instrument in the Hands of the Kremlin

Adam Lelonek

The Belarusian nuclear power plant can be used by Russia as means of pressure on the countries of the region.

During his visit to Vilnius, Adam Lelonek, head of the Polish Center for Analysis of Propaganda and Disinformation, told Charter97.org about how Moscow was trying to use the construction of the Astravets NPP in the information sphere and what consequences it might bear.

- The construction of the nuclear power plant in the Belarusian Astravets is one of elements of an information campaign that the Kremlin uses for its own benefit. How much are the Polish media concerned about the issue of the Astravets NPP?

- At the moment this issue is not the key one for the media in Poland, and I have reasonable doubt that the press will be interested in it. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons for such a situation is the influence of the Russian factor, which uses all means and tries to misinform the media in Poland about what is actually happening in Ukraine, Belarus and the territory of other post-Soviet states. The information war that Russia is waging against Poland is aimed at undermining confidence of the countries of the European Union and NATO in Poland.

- That is, the Astrovets NPP should not only produce cheap energy for Belarus.

- Exactly. This NPP located 50 kilometers far from Vilnius is a powerful Moscow's instrument of influence and pressure. The Russian Federation has achieved its goal in the Crimea, has been undermining the Ukrainian army from within for almost twenty years. Something of this kind the Kremlin is trying to perform today in the energy field using the Astravets NPP. There is no doubt that such a project is promoted by lobbyists, more or less scrupulously referring to sources of financing, in every possible way in our countries.

- The NPP safety issue is still open...

- Everywhere, starting from the terrorist threat to the fact that Russian troops can appear near the station to help to guard it. But first of all there is no unbiased and independent information about what is happening on the construction site. In fact, this poses a threat not only to the physical security of inhabitants of the region, especially areas adjacent to Belarus, but also to energy and political security.

- As I said, the NPP in Belarus can be used as means of pressure on the countries of the region. Therefore, I would not rule out that the provocation escalation is possible to increase tension on the Warsaw-Vilnius line so that Lithuania and Poland could not develop and adhere to a unified position on the problem of the NPP.