Jul 31, 2020
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On the eve of the commissioning of the Belarusian NPP

26 July Polish state TV channel TVP Info said that the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will take place in the near future. The work on the first block of the station is 98% completed, on the second - 72%. Commercial operation will begin next year, and physically the reactor will be operational in August.

What is happening in Lithuania in connection with the upcoming launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant resembles a severe, lingering psychosis. "Father of Lithuanian independence" Vytautas Landsbergis urged the inhabitants of Vilnius to come out to protest rallies in order not to allow Lithuania to enslave through Russian electricity. Earlier, Landsbergis called the BelNPP, built by Belarus in cooperation with Rosatom, "guillotine" and "coffin" for Lithuania.

Example of Lithuanian propaganda: save the children from the Ostrovets monster and Putin!

Example of Lithuanian propaganda: save the children from the Ostrovets monster and Putin! Photo:

Dalia Grybauskaite called the station near Ostrovets "unconventional" weapon of Russia. Her successor, Gitanas Nauseda, convened the Defense Council and applied to Minsk with an appeal not to carry out stress tests at the station and not to endanger the inhabitants of Belarus and neighboring countries. On July 28, Foreign Minister Linas Linkyavychis and Energy Minister Zhigimantas Vaichiunas asked their Belarusian colleagues Vladimir Makei, Viktor Karanchkevich and Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Vashchenko not to tie the launch of the nuclear power plant to August 9, the date of elections in Belarus. Nauseda also sent a letter to the President of the European Council Charles Michel with a request to influence Alexander Lukashenko and convince him not to open the station. At the same time, Vilnius announced preparations for a civil defense exercise.

Preparations for the autumn civil defense exercises in Lithuania.

Preparations for the autumn civil defense exercises in Lithuania. Photo:

It all looks like paranoia. Nauseda refused to go to the summit of the presidents of the Baltic countries due to the fact that Latvia and Estonia calmly perceive the Belarusian nuclear power plant; Riga even plans to conclude an agreement with Minsk on the supply of electricity. And last fall, the then US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry visited Vilnius, who advised paying attention to the IAEA's findings, which indicate the safety of the BelNPP; the Americans have their own interest: they are going to sell fuel for nuclear reactors to Belarus.

Against this background, Poland takes a position that cannot be called otherwise than Jesuit.

Warsaw is not at all worried about, for example, the Czech nuclear power plant "Dukovany" (built with the help of the USSR and started up in the mid-1980s), located almost the same distance from the Polish border as the Belarusian plant. At the same time, Poland is playing up to the panic in Lithuania, hoping to strengthen its position as a regional leader in the “eastern group” of EU member states. On July 28, the Foreign Ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine announced the creation of the Lublin Triangle. The action was symbolic: the ministers gathered in the city, where the union was signed in 1569, which marked the beginning of the Commonwealth.

Lithuania plays an important role in the Polish plans. Two or three years ago Witold Vaszczykowski, Jacek Czaputovich, Krzysztof Thuzewski opposed the station near Ostrovets and declared that Poland would not buy its electricity. And the government commissioner for strategic energy infrastructure, Pyotr Naimsky, has even promised to dismantle the remnants of the Ross-Bialystok transmission line, which has not been used since 2005. At the end of 2019, the Polish Agency for Material Reserves entered into an agreement for the supply of iodine-containing tablets in case of a "radiation emergency" and refused to disclose details, citing "secrecy".

The Polish media do not regret the black paint for BelNPP. Diligently spreading the horrors of the "second Chernobyl", composed in Lithuania, intimidate the population. They impose the idea that the station is destructive for Belarus; Belarusian oppositional resources like Charter'97, controlled by the Poles, are doing the same.

At the same time, Warsaw is playing a game with Minsk. Four years ago, the then Polish ambassador to Belarus, Konrad Pavlik, let slip that the possibility of importing electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant to Poland was being considered. There was a commotion in Lithuania, but the Poles blamed everything on Russian propaganda, allegedly distorting the words of the diplomat. And in December 2019, the general director of Belenergo Pavel Drozd said that the supplies were still being discussed; then, in a June interview with Grodno Pravda, Drozd cautiously remarked: "Currently, negotiations and consultations are underway with a number of companies on the development of interstate electrical connections.",

Poland needs exports from Belarus, especially to its north-eastern regions, which are experiencing a shortage of electricity. In addition, Poland is very dependent on coal, and Brussels is demanding from Warsaw to reduce harmful emissions. The solution to the problem may be supplies from BelNPP. This conclusion was reached, for example, by experts from the Polish analytical company Forum Pravo for Development (the company is headed by Konrad Henning, who recently worked at the Center for Strategic Analysis of the Office of the Prime Minister of Poland).

Peter Naimsky

Peter Naimsky

Henning's experts were severely criticized, and Piotr Naimsky said that purchases from a nuclear power plant in Belarus would undermine the fundamental principle of energy sovereignty, so Poland will build its own nuclear power plant. By the way, the first such attempt was made in the socialist Poland, but the collapse of the USSR prevented it.

The abandoned Polish nuclear power plant

The abandoned Polish nuclear power plant "Zharnovets", built with the support of the Soviet Union.

In short, there are plans to build a Polish nuclear power plant, but there is no money: already at the preliminary stage, you need to spend $ 30 billion, which Poland is not up to. A few days ago, the US Congress authorized funding for nuclear energy projects outside the United States, and now Warsaw hopes that the Americans will pay for the construction of the nuclear power plant.

Nothing, however, suggests that these hopes will come true. The only way out is to supply electricity from BelNPP. The story of the pipeline is very much the same here. Baltic pipe, which should connect Poland with Norwegian fields in the North Sea and make it "independent from Russia", after which other partners of Norway will face a shortage of fuel and raw materials, who will have to turn to the Russian Gazprom. Well, in the situation with BelNPP, the beneficiaries will be the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, the station was built with Russian money.

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