Russia bears full responsibility for Belarus' future nuclear power plant, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Friday in Minsk while meeting with a group of “young Belarusian social scientists.”
The Belarusian leader shrugged off fears about the safety of the plant. "We're surrounded with these plants, so what's the point of being afraid?" he said, according to the presidential press office. "We're building the safest plant, and Russia bears responsibility for it in every possible way, including in terms of its reputation."
"I even think that this 'Chernobyl syndrome' is passing off, and that you'll be building one more nuclear plant, if not with me, then with someone else as president," Mr. Lukashenka said.
The nuclear power plant project draws criticism mainly from those who have been paid to criticize it, including the "fifth column," he said.
"The Lithuanians and the Poles cry most loudly against it," Mr. Lukashenka said. "The Russians don’t cry because this is their project. They have to prove to the whole world that they build beautiful and safe plants. There is great competition here. But let's look [at this] from another angle. The Lithuanians plan to build their own plant literally a couple of kilometers away from ours. So if you're crying that this is dangerous, bad and so on, why are you building at the same place? The Poles want to build two nuclear plants. But the whole problem is that we've outrun them in this respect. He who is ahead in the race wins. We'll get electricity and be able to sell it in not only the Belarusian market but also neighboring ones. This is competition. In this competition, there are people who advance someone's interests. This is not for free. This is their business."
Belarus’ nuclear power plant will be located in the Astravets district, Hrodna region, some 10 miles from the Lithuanian border. Its two reactors are to have a total generating capacity of 2,400 megawatts.
AtomStroyExport, a subsidiary company of Russia's Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom), is the prime contractor in the project. //BelaPAN