Lukashenka thanks Latvia for not criticizing Belarus’ nuclear project

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has expressed gratitude to the Latvian government for not criticizing Belarus for its nuclear power plant project.

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The Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant will bring benefits to the current and the future generations and can become a “common heritage of the region,” Mr. Lukashenka said in Minsk on Thursday, while meeting with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis.

“This is a Belarusian plant, but we are moving towards globalization and borders are becoming more and more blurred,” Mr. Lukashenka said, according to the presidential press office. “The time will come when the plant will be the common heritage of Belarus and Latvia.”

Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that no one made objections to Poland’s plans to build a nuclear power plant.

“We will build our plant anyway,” he said. “We are building it in accordance with international law. I often say that we should think together how to use the plant.”

According to Mr. Lukashenka, Lithuanians who lost jobs after the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant could work at the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant. “We are not afraid of this, although it is a very serious facility,” he said.

Belarus is interested in the safety of its nuclear power plant more than any other state, Mr. Lukashenka stressed. “We are responsible for it,” he said. “Nuclear power plants are built everywhere and no one raises particular objections. And Russia builds lots of such plants and reactors all over the world. So we will build our plant and it is necessary to derive mutual benefits from it.”

According to Mr. Lukashenka, Belarus and Latvia could considerably improve their relations. “Frankly speaking, I am pleased to see you in Belarus,” he told Mr. Kucinskis. “It is good that you came here. It is nice to think that we have good relations with Latvia in comparison with other neighboring countries. But the thought that they could be much better does not leave me. We do not realize many opportunities. Your visit to Belarus is very welcome and significant in this regard.”

The Belarusian government does not want to create problems for its neighbors, Mr. Lukashenka noted.

He pointed out that Minsk had never reproached Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia for joining the European Union. “Quite the opposite, we try to benefit from this fact,” he said. “We are glad if things work out for you. But you should clearly understand that Russia is not just a friendly country for us. Our brotherly people lives there.”

Belarus will never team up with any country against Russia or Latvia, Mr. Lukashenka stressed.

He emphasized the importance of preserving peace and stability in the region. “It is enough that we have been unable to solve the conflict in Ukraine for several years,” he said. “God forbid that there are any negative developments. So let’s preserve peace and quiet in this area, the geographical center of Europe. You can rely on Belarus in his regard.”