Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis believes that the European Union must help Lithuania in closing down the Ignalina NPP. He says it is a too heavy burden for the country, BaltNews.lt reports.
The prime minister plans to raise the issue during a visit of EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther H. Oettinger to Lithuania. Oettinger is going to discuss the EU financial plan with the Lithuanian leadership.
“Speaking of the EU budget, we see that a new financial perspective is coming, see the challenges we have. First of all, it is connected with outcomes of the Brexit. But, despite this, there are certain solutions, they were made in advance and are fixed in the treaty on Lithuania’s accession to the EU. This first of all is related to the closing down of the Ignalina NPP. There were clearly defined obligations to finance this costly project,” the prime minister said in an interview to Žinių radijas.
“After hearing from the European Court of Auditors that this (the shutdown - EADaily) should be made at Lithuania’s expense, we must say this is inadmissible for us and we are incapable of doing it. Thus, this issue will be one of top priority ones at the talks with the commissioner,” Skvernelis stressed.
In March, chair of the Lithuanian parliament Viktoras Pranckietis while meeting Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said that the country was unable to finance the process of shutting down the plant on its own. He stressed that the government had not enough money to make it safe. He called it important to find money in the budget of the European Union for it. “The Ignalina NPP must be a story and a model of the EU nuclear success,” he noted.
The Ignalina NPP is located in north-eastern Lithuania close to the border with Belarus and in 45 km from the border with Latvia. The plant had worked for 26 years before it was closed on Dec 31, 2009. It was a pre-condition of Lithuania joining the EU.