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Regarding misleading information in Belarusian media

2011-03-02

The Belarusian media have circulated a report stating that Lithuania allegedly has no objections to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the nuclear power station planned in Belarus.

The Ministry of Environment hereby gives notice that the statements of Mikhail Mikhadyuk, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Energy, quoted by the news agency БЕЛТА do not reflect reality.

Lithuania has still not approved the said EIA report. Nor has it received any answers regarding the criteria for the choice of Astraviec as a construction site for the nuclear power plant that is only 50 km away from Vilnius, and the validity of conclusions in the EIA report.

Since Belarus has failed to fulfil the requirements of the Espoo Convention regarding timely and full information, organisation of public hearings and other procedures laid down in the Convention, the Ministry of Environment has refused to recognise that the meeting between the Lithuanian and Belarusian representatives that took place on 18 June last year was consultations within the meaning of the Convention. The representatives of Belarus were notified of that additionally also in the letter of the Ministry of Environment sent on 9 July last year.

It should be noted that in mid-February of this year the Belarusian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment submitted an amended EIA report to the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment for comments, which the Lithuanian Ministry has forwarded to the authorities concerned for consideration.

As the comments are summarised, Belarus will receive an answer on both thematic and procedural issues. However, Lithuania continues to defend the position that the public information procedures stipulated by the Convention have been infringed.

Ministry of Environment information, tel. 2191869

02 March 2011

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas