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LITHUANIA

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Lithuania has picked up diplomatic efforts to win support for a European boycott of electricity imports from Belarus' nuclear power plant, a two-reactor VVER-1200 facility being built on Russian money (NIW Aug.7'15). Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis said earlier this month that his aim was to convince Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and Poland to agree on a joint approach to banning sales of power from the Belarusian plant, the first reactor of which has a launch-date in 2018, and that it was important all sides are on board; otherwise, he explained, the megawatts will find a way into the European Union. He said the Estonians and Latvians were in favor of a boycott, while Finland, which import large amounts of power from Russia's Leningrad nuclear plant, is more interested in a "dialogue" with Belarus. It is not clear where Poland, which is searching for alternative sources of electricity, stands on the issue (NIW Jan.22'16). Lithuanian leaders have argued that the Belarusian plant in Ostrovets, some 40 kilometers east of Vilnius, presents safety hazards for Lithuania and violates the Espoo Convention (NIW Oct.17'11).

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