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US offers to supply fuel for controversial Belarus nuclear plant

US Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Rita Baranwal has said that the Belarusian and Lithuanian governments should re-engage in a dialogue over the construction of a Russian-built nuclear power plant in Belarus close to the Lithuanian border, BelarusFeed has reported.

“The US is calling on Lithuania and Belarus to remain in touch and maintain transparency. I would say that VVER-type reactors similar to those installed at BelNPP operate safely in the world,” Mrs Baranwal told the press, adding that “in the future, American fuel suppliers could partly supply fuel” which “is already being done at some power plants around the world.”

Speaking in a meeting with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Lithuania’s president, Gitanas Nauseda, called on the United States to actively engage in resolving the issue of the Belarusian nuclear plant.

“This power plant poses a danger of hybrid threats in the Baltic region, so it is essential that the US pay attention to security and preservation of democratic values ​​in Europe,” wrote BelarusFeed, quoting Mr Nauseda.

While the US energy secretary earlier stated that he did not want to get involved in the dispute, Žygimantas Vaičiunas, Lithuania’s energy minister, said that his meeting with Mr Perry had reassured him of US support for Lithuania over nuclear safety issues.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is located in Astravets, near the Belarusian-Lithunian border, and has long been criticised by the Lithuanian government over environmental and nuclear safety issues.

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  • Eastern Europe is littered with coal plants that belch enormous amount of pollution that is significantly affecting public health, and CO2 that is affecting the Earth’s climate. And yet, Lithuania is only concerned about a new non-polluting, non-CO2-emitting nuclear plant in the region? If they were genuinely concerned about their public health and safety, they would instead be focused on closing or cleaning up regional coal plants. There’s got to be some other agenda here, related to geopolitics.