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Lithuanian ambassador summoned over nuclear power plant incident

Belarus Foreign Ministry entrance doors. Photo:

Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14 March summoned Lithuanian ambassador amid concerns about the lack of timely information regarding an incident at the Ignalina nuclear power plant in later December. The station, out of service for more than a decade, is located next to the border with Belarus.

According to Lithuanian media reports, the government decided to conceal information about the incident. Reportedly, some scheduled tests revealed higher levels of contamination than normal on radioactive materials.

The Lithuanian envoy received a note, in which Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that "principles of transparency and responsibility for ensuring nuclear safety should be equally applied to any nuclear activity, including decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP.

MFA of Belarus called upon Lithuania to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and inform Belarus of its results. 

Taking into account direct proximity of Ignalina NPP to its’ border, Belarus counts on the prompt provision by Lithuanian side of information about all incidents at nuclear facilities or involving nuclear materials that could potentially cause radiation releases.

This information was also provided to the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, A.Wiktorin, and forwarded to the European bodies via the Mission of Belarus in Brussels."

In the past several years, Lithuania has routinely expressed safety concerns in connection with the Belarusian NPP being constructed in Astraviec district and made appeals to the leadership of the European Union and the United States.