World Bulletin / News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced support for Lithuania over the Baltic country’s fears about a nuclear power plant being built in neighboring Belarus.
Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in Berlin, Merkel proposed international inspectors to ensure safety standards were met.
“The construction of a power plant in Belarus has caused worries in Lithuania. As Germany, we will support steps to ensure that highest possible technical standards are met," she said.
Merkel underlined Europe’s interest in addressing the safety concerns.
“Since Chernobyl, we know that the safety of nuclear power plants is of vital importance, no matter if you are in the immediate neighborhood or live far away,” she added.
The German Chancellor proposed a visit by international inspectors to the construction site, with access to relevant data, to address Lithuania’s concerns.
Astravyets nuclear power plant, which is currently under construction on the border with Lithuania, will be the first nuclear power station in Belarus.
The plant, which is being jointly built with Russia, raised worries in the Lithuania as it is only some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from its capital Vilnius.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Skvernelis said a dangerous nuclear power plant in the immediate neighborhood was a “matter of survival” for his country.
“This is not only a problem for Lithuania; the EU is also worried. This is a problem for the whole region,” he added.