19 June 2018, Tuesday, 13:28

Rasa Yuknevičienė: Kremlin Might Use Astravets Nuclear Power Plant For Hybrid War


The Lithuanian Seimas has adopted a resolution stating that the nuclear power plant, which is under construction in Astravets, is especially dangerous.

Rasa Yuknevičienė, a member of the Seimas of Lithuania and the Minister of Defense in 2008-2012, comments on the situation especially for Charter97.org.

– Why has the Seimas adopted this decree on the nuclear power plant and what does it really mean?

– The power plant, which is being built in Astravets, has not been safe from the very beginning. In the first place, it does not meet international standards. The very existence of the Astravets nuclear power plant is a physical threat to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania is in its evacuation zone.

The situation is worsened by the fact that this project is a Russian one, the station is being built by Rosatom. As a result, even disregarding the will of Belarus, the Kremlin can use the station both for a hybrid war and for blackmailing Lithuania and other neighboring countries. Finally, the reactors, which will operate at the station, are a new model, which has not been tested properly. Besides, there is a lot of evidence that the construction is performed unprofessionally, it has become known about several incidents at the station. All this cannot but cause concern.

– What are the possible consequences of the resolution?

– First of all, the resolution means that Lithuania will not import electricity, produced at the insecure nuclear power plant in Astravets. It also means that we will make every effort to ensure that there is no possibility of transit of this energy through our territory.

– Does this position mean that the relations with Minsk will worsen?

– It was not us who started all that, but Aliaksandr Lukashenka. It was his decision to build a nuclear power plant practically on the very border with Lithuania and in dangerous proximity to Vilnius.

– What are Vilnius’s next steps going to be?

– We will continue to work with neighboring countries and be more active at the European level. We will try to get out of the BRELL energy ring (Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia) quicker and become part of the European energy system.