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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on Belarus to suspend the construction of its Astravyets nuclear power plant in a resolution adopted on Tuesday.
Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius welcomed it as another call from international community that is difficult to ignore.

"We welcome each voice from an international organization, its opinion on this issue and, specifically, calls to suspend the Astravyets nuclear power plant construction because of violations and lack of respect for international environmental standards," the minister told BNS.

"We are making efforts to consolidate international opinion, international organizations," he said.

The resolution on the situation in Belarus calls on Minsk to suspend the construction "because of numerous violations, the lack of respect for international standards for nuclear safety and serious safety violations and major incidents during the construction of Astravyets NPP".

"The worst violation in the development of Astravyets NPP was the selection of an unsustainable site for its construction. The consequences of the construction of Astravyets NPP would be a devastating impact on the health and safety of most of Europe and its people," the document reads.

It also notes that "concerns have been raised since 2009 in all competent international organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Safety and Espoo Conventions, Aarhus and Helsinki Water Conventions, organizations of the European Union and the European Nuclear Safety Organization (WENRA, ENSREG), the United Nations and other organizations".

Russia's state corporation Rosatom is building the nuclear power plant in Astravyets, some 50 kilometers from Vilnius. Lithuania maintains that the project falls short of safety and environmental standards, but Minsk rejects the criticism as unfounded.