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L. Linkevičius has telephone conversation with Belarusian Foreign Minister about receipt of nuclear fuel at Ostrovets NPP, COVID-19

Created: 2020.05.06 / Updated: 2020.05.06 16:48

On 6 May, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Vladimir Makei, and discussed information about the receipt of nuclear fuel at the Ostrovets nuclear power plant (NPP) that had been published in Belarus. The telephone conversation took place on the initiative of L. Linkevičius.

“I underlined once again that recommendations by international institutions for the security of nuclear facilities had to be implemented before the nuclear power plant was put into operation. Therefore, we urge Belarus not to load nuclear fuel into its nuclear power station until full implementation of the recommendations by international experts. We agreed to consult regularly on all these issues,” said L. Linkevičius.

Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to Belarus, requesting the neighboring state to give priority to safety rather than to the construction schedule, and to avoid jeopardizing its own residents, as well as citizens in other countries. A positive step in this direction, as is expected by Lithuania and the European Union, would be to halt the launch of the Belarusian NPP and to immediately organize an official EU expert review of the implementation of the stress test recommendations under the National Action Plan, as well as to promptly welcome a group of international experts that would monitor the process.

L. Linkevičius also voiced his concern over an explosion of COVID-19 cases in Belarus.

“We are closely watching Belarus, concerned that there has been an explosion of COVID-19 cases.

Thus, we urge Belarus to take into consideration all the recommendations by the World Health Organization regarding the quarantine regime and the planned march of 9 May in Minsk. Belarus has asked for financial assistance to combat COVID-19, therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the aid will be properly used for this purpose. The coronavirus-containment efforts are important not only for the citizens of Belarus, but for the entire region”, said L. Linkevičius.

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