VILNIUS, November 13 (RIA Novosti) – The decision not to build a new nuclear power plant will hurt Lithuania and benefit Russia, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said on Tuesday.
The proposed Visaginas nuclear plant was to be built at the site of the closed Ignalina plant. However, almost 65 percent of Lithuanians rejected the project in an October 14 referendum.
“If we do not build our own nuclear power plant, then our money, the money of our consumers, our residents, which we pay for the import of electricity, will go for the construction of the nuclear power plant in [Russia’s] Kaliningrad Region,” Kubilius said in an interview with radio Lietuvos radijas.
“So it is not surprising that the Russians will be only too pleased by that. However, I see no reason for us to be pleased.”
He suggested that the decision not to build the station could affect Lithuania’s independence strategy in the long term.
On Monday, Valery Yazev, deputy head of the Russian State Duma natural resources and environment committee, said that the abandonment of the Visaginas project would be good for Russia’s Baltic nuclear plant project.
Lithuanian authorities will probably not raise any objections to the implementation of the Russian project, in particular to an environmental impact assessment study, he said.
The Visaginas plant was to go into operation in 2020-21.