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Lithuania proposes creation of Baltic joint-venture to decide on Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project

Algirdas Butkevicius.
VILNIUS, May 2 - Lithuania has proposed creating a joint-venture with Latvia and Estonia, which would then make a final decision on whether or not to go forward with the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project after calculations and an analysis are made, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said on Thursday to the local radio station ''Ziniu radijas''.

According to him, Lithuania wants to know whether Latvia and Estonia will agree upon joining such a joint-venture, which would confirm the willingness of both countries to participate in the power plant project.

''We want a clear position from Latvia and Estonia on the possibility of establishing a joint-venture, which would continue talks on the power plant project. If such a joint-venture is established, it will be a sign that our regional partners are serious about the project,'' the Lithuanian prime minister said.

As reported, Butkevicius will discuss the future of the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts in Riga on May 30.

The Lithuanian prime minister said that before the meeting, the ministers of the respective countries will hold their meetings as well.

Butkevicius stressed that he had talked with Latvian and Estonian prime ministers on the phone and agreed that meetings regarding the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant must be held at the level of ministers and companies.

Butkevicius also explained that, during the previous meetings, his Latvian and Estonian counterparts had asked for more information on the project.

62.7 percent of voters cast "No" in a non-binding referendum on the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant project in Lithuania last year, while almost 34 percent backed the plan. Despite placing no legal obligation on the government, the result throws new doubt on an already-sluggish project.
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