But he still refuses to acknowledge his mistake.
On Friday, Lukashenka spoke words which confirmed the pessimistic predictions about the nuclear power plant in Astravets, Salidarnasts writes.
But first, we want to remind that Lukashenka had spoken about the “expediency of building the first Belarusian nuclear power plant.” In 2011, he said: “We will move away from electricity imports and will supply a significant part of it to foreign markets.”
In 2012, the ruler said: “Having built a nuclear power plant, we will stop using 5 billion cubic meters of gas.“
Years have passed, the first unit of the nuclear power plant in Astravets is supposed to be put into operation at the end of 2019. And what does Lukashenka say at the meeting a year before the NPP starts it work?
“In 2018, for the first time, we completely abandoned electricity imports.”
That is, it was possible to do it without a nuclear power plant. But these words of the ruler were not the most frightening (as quoted by his press service).
“The government should develop a clear and realistic plan for expanding the use of electricity in industry, agriculture, transport, IT sector, housing and public utilities, housekeeping and other areas... We have enough capacity to increase electricity consumption, and soon there will be more.”
This statement suggests two conclusions. Firstly, it seems that the authorities do not believe themselves that it will be possible to import energy from the Belarusian NPP to other countries – Lukashenka does not mention it at all.
Secondly, a year before the launch of the nuclear power plant, they probably have no idea where the surplus of electricity will go.
By his words, Lukashenka confirms the most pessimistic forecasts: the statements about the feasibility of building a nuclear power plant were political ones and were not supported by the calculations of specialists. It's not for nothing that the head of state is now talking about a realistic plan for the use of electricity.
Not only he, but also other officials used to make populist statements. Back in May of this year, Uladzimir Siamashka was repeating: “When we launch the nuclear power plants, we will buy about 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas less.”
In September, Deputy Minister of Energy Volha Prudnikava actually denied these words: “Albeit we are commissioning the nuclear power plant, we do not predict a significant change in natural gas consumption”, “the share of gas will not change significantly in the production of heat energy.”
The BelNPP seems to be another monument to Lukashenka’s era – an era when billions of dollars are thrown to the wind because of ill-considered actions.