The local authorities are left to decide on the way the pills will be handed out to people. They will, first of all, be distributed to Lithuanian residents living within the radius of 30 km from the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus.

Vilnius District Municipality received 29,000 pills, and Svencionys District Municipality got over 95,000 pills.

The fact that the distribution of such pills was started way before the Astravyets launch shows that "all responsible institutions have done their job," Lithuanian Health Minister Aurelijus Veryga says.

Lithuania has purchased 4 million potassium iodide pills for over 1 million euros to protect residents from radiation in case of a nuclear accident.

Belarusian officials have said the date of the Astravyets NPP's 1st reactor's "physical launch" will be revealed over the upcoming week, and the nuclear facility should reach its full capacity by February, 2021.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said in the parliament today that the facility could come online as early as August.

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