Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Evaldas Ignatavicius handed a protest note to the Belarusian Ambassador Vladimir Drazhin on March 14. As reported by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania protested to the statements of the Belarusian authorities' representatives that the Lithuanian side allegedly had no complaints of the report on the potential impact of the future nuclear plant on the environment.
«Lithuania has reiterated that Belarus failed to complete its work on assessing the environmental impact of the planned NPP construction project in accordance with generally accepted international legal norms, as well as didn’t organize public debates in Lithuania and bilateral consultations, as required by international Espoo Convention,» the protest note said.
As Telegraf previously reported, Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Mikhail Mikhadziuk said on March 2 that Belarus had responded to all the Lithuania’s questions on the report about the NPP impact on the environment (Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), had taken into account all the remarks of the Lithuanian side and held the necessary consultations in six concerned countries. The deputy minister stressed that the EIA had been developed in accordance with international requirements and had passed the state examination.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Environment of Lithuania has refuted a statement of the Deputy Minister of Energy, claiming that Lithuania failed to endorse the EIA report. «Lithuania has not received answers to questions about the siting criteria in Astravets, located just 50 kilometers from Vilnius, as well as the reliability of the findings, presented in the EIA,» said in Lithuanian.
Meanwhile, Committee on the Implementation of the Espoo Convention (on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context), acting under the European Economic Commission, acknowledged the violations, committed by Belarus in the NPP planning at the 20th session in Geneva on January 11-13, 2011. In this regard, the international committee recommended the authorities to suspend the construction of nuclear power plants.