Linkevičius and Šefčovič discuss key energy security challenges in the Baltic region
On 24 May in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and discussed the key energy security challenges in the Baltic region.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister underlined nuclear safety issues in the EU neighborhood and noted that the Astravets nuclear power plant (NPP), which was being unsafely constructed in Belarus, constituted a problem not only for Lithuania, but for the whole of the EU.
Šefčovič noted that the European Commission would continue to aim at having the Astravets NPP that was being built in the EU neighbourhood, meet the highest international nuclear safety and environmental standards, and called on Belarus to take concrete action to review the safety of the Astravets NPP on the basis of comprehensive risk and safety assessments (‘stress tests’).
Lithuania calls on Belarus to immediately stop the Astravets NPP construction, because of the project’s non-compliance with international environmental and nuclear safety standards, a number of blatant violations that have occurred in the project development process, constant and serious construction site accidents, due to low safety culture and because the Belarusian nuclear safety regulatory authority and organizations involved in the construction work lack expertise and experience necessary for the development of the Astravets NPP project, as well as because of the permanent manipulation of international instruments and public opinion in Belarus, and in neighbouring countries.
In the meeting with Šefčovič, Linkevičius also stressed the importance of the synchronous interconnection of the Baltic power system with the Continental European Networks, the need to ensure funding of the Ignalina NPP closure, and emphasized threats posed by the Nord Stream 2 project, and other issues.
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