Lithuania's fear of new nuclear plant in Belarus

A new nuclear power plant is scheduled to go into operation in August in Belarus's Ostrovets district, just 45 kilometres from Vilnius. Lithuania has criticised the safety standards at the plant, but has so far been unable to persuade Latvia and Estonia to leave the post-Soviet Brell power grid and dispense with the cheap energy from Belarus.

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Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Push for safety instead of boycotts

Estonia should support Lithuania on the Ostrovets issue, but not with a boycott, Eesti Päevaleht argues:

“It's unrealistic to think that pressure from Lithuania will stop Belarus from opening the nuclear power plant. A reasonable approach would be not to refrain from buying electricity entirely, but to ensure that Belarus guarantees that all safety precautions have been taken at the plant. Lithuanians probably also understand that Ostrovets will not go away, but as parliamentary elections are to be held in Lithuania on October 11 it's a good topic for the politicians. ... The Baltic states must seek a compromise on Ostrovets that also takes the interests of Latvia and Estonia into account.”

Lietuvos rytas (LT) /

Economic advantages take precedence over safety

Russia stands to benefit once more if the Baltic states are divided, laments Lietuvos rytas:

“The nuclear power plant in Ostrovets is due to go into operation at the beginning of August, and for economic reasons Latvia is still prepared to buy electricity produced there. What can Lithuania do to make Latvia change its stance? Very little. The only option could be pressure from the EU. The Lithuanian government and President Nausėda are knocking on Brussels' door. But such action could further damage bilateral relations between Vilnius and Riga. The escalating conflict in the Baltic states and the growing risk of jeopardising the rapprochement with the West work in Minsk's and especially Moscow's favour.”

Diena (LT) /

Vilnius is responsible for the situation

Diena shows little understanding for the political outcry in Lithuania:

“What other country talks loudly about liberalising the energy market and then forbids by law the purchase of electricity from a particular supplier? ... What has the government done in the past 30 years to make us leave the Soviet Brell network and join forces with Poland? Absolutely nothing. All we've heard is talk, but the intermediaries who earn millions through this dependence haven't allowed any action. That's the way it is with our oligarchs: their mouths shout patriotic slogans but their arms are buried up to the elbow in Russia's pockets. We should assess the situation rationally and stop the nonsense.”