01:29 GMT21 September 2020
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    Belarus will not halt the first nuclear power plant despite environmental concerns by neighboring Lithuania, according to First Deputy Natural Resources Minister Iya Malkina.

    MINSK (Sputnik) — Belarus is not going to suspend the construction of its first nuclear power plant despite environmental concerns by neighboring Lithuania, First Deputy Natural Resources Minister Iya Malkina said Wednesday.

    Lithuanian environmental protection officials have earlier demanded that Belarus halt construction of the Ostrovets NPP to conduct additional stress tests.

    "It is obvious for everyone today that Belarus will not halt the NPP construction. I cannot think of any reason that could force the government to do so," Malkina said.

    The NPP is being built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport company, a subsidiary of state-owned nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, under a contract signed in July 2012. The project is expected to be completed in July 2020.

    The plant is being constructed close to the Lithuanian border, just 50 kilometers away from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, which has sparked heightened concerns by the Lithuanian authorities.


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