Valentinas Mazuronis voiced Lithuania’s concern over the safety of the Astravas NPP to the Belarusian Ambassador2013-02-28
Today, Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis, having met with Belarusian Ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Drazhin, voiced the concerns of the responsible Lithuanian institutions and of the public over the safety of the nuclear power plant being constructed at a distance of 50 kilometres from Vilnius.
The Minister reminded that our country has been requesting for several years already but has not received all information on the measures intended to be taken by Belarus in order to ensure the safe construction and operation of the nuclear power plant.
During the meeting, it was agreed that the Lithuanian and Belarusian dialogue held with the aim of ensuring the safety of the Astravas NPP, will be maintained in compliance with all the requirements of the United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention).
The Ministry of Environment reminds that the assessment of the potential environmental impact of the nuclear power plant in Belarus, which is mandatory under the aforementioned Convention, has not been completed yet. Belarus has not submitted the information that has been requested since 2009 on the criteria for the selection of the NPP construction site, conducted seismic investigations, the cooling of the plant, the potential impact on Lithuania’s territory, its population and the Neris River, spent nuclear fuel management, etc., and the public of our country has not been familiarised with this project.
The Implementation Committee of the Espoo Convention in Geneva is currently looking into whether the actions taken by Belarus in implementing the nuclear power plant project on the Astravas site complies with international norms.
When addressing the issues related to the management of the Nemunas River, Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis invited Belarus to take a more active part in negotiations over the conclusion of an agreement between Lithuania, Belarus, Russian and the EU regarding the management of the Nemunas River. Such agreement is very important for both Lithuania and Belarus because it would define the legal regulation of Nemunas.
Information by the Ministry of Environment, tel: 8~706 63660
28 February 2013