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The following news release has been republished here courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Lithuania

On 6 April, Lithuania handed in a note to Russia, thus responding to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the Baltic nuclear power plant (NPP) and expressing concern over failure to meet international standards, lack of transparency and cooperation in development of such project.

Lithuania disapproves the EIA report of the planned Baltic NPP because it does not include the answers to Lithuania’s questions, information presented in the report is of merely declarative nature and lacking substantiated scientific calculations and arguments.

The report does not contain the necessary exhaustive information, fundamental international impact aspects such as emergency preparedness, civil safety, Lithuania’s proximity and Lithuanian population density in the object monitoring zone, possible radiological contamination of Nemunas river and the Baltic sea are evaluated too inadequately, bilateral emergency protection measures are not provided.

The Baltic NPP construction site selection criteria were not disclosed to Lithuania, moreover the nuclear reactor technologies confirmed to be put in operation at the Baltic NPP significantly lack operational experience.

Lithuania as one of the states that would face the most extensive environmental impact, lacking exhaustive information on the project’s conformity with the fundamental international nuclear safety standards, disapproves the EIA document.

The note contains request to provide exhaustive responses to Lithuania’s questions, to familiarize Lithuanian society with essential EIA documents in Lithuanian and provide enough time to get acquainted with them, to organize public hearings in Lithuania and bilateral consultations in compliance with 1991 United Nations Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

Russia had signed Espoo Convention and although had not yet ratified it, declared its willingness to abide to its provisions, according to which EIA procedures should be properly conducted and exhaustively presented to the countries than may be affected by a significant adverse transboundary impact.

Since 2009 Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with other institutions responsible for nuclear and radiological safety and environmental aspects have sought to ensure the safety of the project of NPP building in the Kaliningrad region. To do this, all international instruments, international forums and bilateral contacts have been used and will be used. Issues of importance to Lithuania are being discussed in detail at the review meeting under the Convention on Nuclear Safety which is currently held in Vienna, where country reports on national nuclear safety are presented.