The conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats claims to have collected nearly 65,000 signatures of the nation’s citizens supporting an initiative against the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravyets.
The conservatives’ bill, which aims to prohibit the sale of electricity generated at the Astravyets facility in Lithuania and prevent the power plant from using the Lithuanian energy system, was signed by a total of 64,702 residents of Lithuania in two months’ time, party leader Gabrielius Landsbergis told a news conference on Monday.
According to the party leader, one of the primary questions raised by those who signed the initiative was whether the construction of the Astravyets utility could still be stopped.
“Our answer was always ‘yes.’ In our opinion, the law we are submitting to the Seimas is one of the key steps towards the halting of the construction, as we know that the nuclear power plant is built exclusively for exports. If we restrict the exports, the power plant is rendered virtually useless and loss-making — this is likely to lead to termination of the construction,” Landsbergis told the media.
Conservative Zygimantas Pavilionis, who ran the signature collection campaign, said Belarus had announced its goal to export two-thirds of the electricity generated in Astravyets to Western Europe, mainly Poland and Sweden, via Lithuania. Therefore, Lithuania’s work to obstruct the transit path may derail the “Lukashenko game,” said Pavilionis.
The politician said that technical repression of electricity exports may be put into place by way of phase shifters on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.
Lithuania is the fiercest opponent of the construction of Belarus’ nuclear utility, claiming that its neighbour has failed to ensure the project’s safety. The construction is taking place 50 km from Vilnius, a mere 20 km from the nations’ mutual border. However, Minsk has disputed the criticism, promising to ensure highest safety standards at the nuclear plant.
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