The Baltic states' joint boycott of electricity generated at the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP), situated around 50 kilometres from the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, will cost Belarus "hundreds of millions of euros" in lost revenue annually, Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said on August 27.
All the three Baltic states, as well as Poland and Ukraine, have said they will boycott imports of electricity produced at the plant. Lithuanian PM Saulius Skvernelis expects that the Baltic countries will soon sign a political declaration committing to a boycott of Belarusian electricity once it launches the Astravyets NPP.
Lithuania withdrew on August 26 from the so-called BRELL agreement, which obligates it to exchange emergency electric power reserves with Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Belarus.
Lithuania attributed its decision to the poor safety of the Astravyets NPP, whose physical launch seems imminent.
The decision will be implemented from next year and Lithuanian will stop providing 100 MW of power reserve to BRELL countries, but will also no longer receive 400 MW of reserve from Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Belarus. Lithuanian TSO Litgrid says it has found another way of securing that assistance – via its links with Sweden and Poland.
The Belarusian energy ministry said earlier this month that nuclear fuel has been uploaded to the Astravyets plant’s first unit.
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