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Other countries view Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant project through an economic lens, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday, commenting on the Latvian foreign minister's words that his country is not considering restricting electricity imports from the facility under construction just 50 kilometers from Vilnius.
Saulius Skvernelis
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"The Latvian side does understand and support (our position) that this facility must comply with all safety requirements and international organizations' monitoring requirements," Skvernelis said in an interview with LRT Radio on Tuesday morning.

"It goes without saying that for us it is a matter of survival and a political issue, while for other states it is an economic issue, and many states look at it from the perspective of their national interests and through an economic lens," he said.

In a recent interview with BNS, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said that he was constantly raising the Astravyets project safety issues in meetings with officials from Belarus and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However, the minister thinks that the Astravyets nuclear plant has become a domestic policy issue in Lithuania that Latvia will not interfere in.

The government last June endorsed an embargo plan for restricting the import of electricity from the Astravyets plant and other third countries via Nord Pool Spot's Lithuanian bidding area. The government this week plans to make a final decision on restricting power imports from unsafe nuclear power plants of third countries.