Disinfo: US pushing Lithuania against Belarusian NPP

Summary

Lithuania is making statements against the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) against its own economic interests. This statement is made for the US sake, which traditionally pushed Lithuania and other Baltic states into the ultimate confrontational position against Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Lithuania, portraying this country as the puppet of the US.

Lithuania opposed the construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety, and is built on a site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones.

The Belarusian NPP project is financed by Russia. The Astravets Nuclear power plant is built by “Atomstroyexport” affiliated with Russian state corporation “Rosatom”.

Geographically, the Belarusian NPP is located near the border with Lithuania. The distance between the Astravets Nuclear power plant and the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius is only 40 km.

On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) about the nuclear power plant. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. On 5 May 2020, the Lithuanian parliament passed a resolution tasking the government to take even more active steps to ensure that electricity generated by the Astravets NPP has no access to the Lithuanian market.

The Astravets nuclear power plant was connected with the grid in early November 2020 in Belarus. On November 11 2020, Lithuania handed a diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus over the incident that had occurred during the commissioning of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

On February 11 2021, the European Parliament called for the suspension of the launch of the Belarusian NPP. MEPs called on the European Commission to work with the Belarusian authorities to delay the plant's launch until all EU stress test recommendations are fully implemented and all the necessary safety improvements in place.

Earlier pro-Kremlin outlets published a range of speculation alleging that Lithuania criticises the Belarusian NPP to divert public attention from the catastrophic state of economy as well as presenting Lithuania as vassal of Washington.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Lithuanian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Belarus, Lithuania, Baltic states, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Energy, Puppets, Russophobia
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