Lithuania has asked Belarus to suspend construction work of its nuclear power plant in Astravets until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) performs necessary stress tests, Vitalijus Auglys, a department director at the Ministry of Environment told reporters on Wednesday.
The nuclear power plant that Belarus is building in Astravets is just 50 kilometres from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.
“The Belarusian side itself should be interested in this because it’s still unclear what the experts’ recommendations will be like and how big an investment their implementation will require,” Russia’s state-run news agency TASS quotes Auglys as saying.
Lithuania also wants to send its experts who would monitor the stress test in Belarus as members of the IAEA Group.
Meanwhile, Belarus has invited Lithuanian specialists to continue consultations about the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in July, BelTA reports on Thurtsday with reference to Maryna Filipyuk, Head of the International Cooperation Department of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry,
As reported earlier, opening the 5th Belarusian National Congress in Minsk, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka urged the delegates to pay no regard to international criticism over constructing the NPP in Astravets and promised to ‘implement the project’.
On 8 April 2016, there was a collapse of the structural frame of the would-be nuclear service building at Astravets NPP, of which Belsat.eu was informed in early May.
At first, Eduard Sviryd, the spokesman for the Astravets NPP, denied our report saying that there had not been any incidents at the construction site. State-run mass media remained silent as well. After the publication Lithuania summoned Belarus’ ambassador and handed him a diplomatic note demanding explanation over the reported incident.
Later, Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Vadzim Zakreuski confirmed the information published on belsat.eu.