The Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, under construction in Russia's western exclave of Kaliningrad, will only receive sufficient demand for its energy supplies if Kaliningrad is integrated into the EU economy, the Lithuanian Energy Minister said.
In late February, Russia began construction on the two-unit Baltic Power Plant in Kaliningrad in a bid to combat an increasing energy crisis in the region. The first unit is to go into full production in 2016, with the second to follow in 2018.
The constructors of the plant have not ruled out exporting nuclear power to the EU market, including the Baltic States.
"Will Kaliningrad become the Hong Kong of the EU or will it remain an isolated enclave? We would welcome the full economic integration of Kaliningrad with the EU," Arvydas Sekmokas said at the Council of the Baltic Sea States summit on Tuesday.
"I believe that even two nuclear power plants can realize their potential in the Baltic region. If it [Kaliningrad] is to remain an isolated enclave, the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant will be too big for the needs of Kaliningrad region alone," he said.
Lithuania is currently constructing its own power plant in of Visaginas in the east of country. The plant will replace the much-disputed Ignalina plant, which was decommissioned as part of an agreement on the Baltic state's accession to the EU.
The new plant is due to be built by 2018 as part of a $3-4 billion joint project with Poland, Estonia and Latvia.
The Ignalina plant was of a similar design to the power plant that exploded in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The Soviet-era Ignalina power station provided about 70% of Lithuania's electricity.
VILNIUS, June 1 (RIA Novosti)