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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Financial Times voices Lithuania’s concern over electricity and Russia

Lithuania is worried about the approaching term for closing the Ignalina nuclear power plant and its President Valdas Adamkus considers such requirement of the European Union (EU) to be unfair, the well-known British daily The Financial Times writes on Tuesday.

"Ignalina provides 70% of Lithuania"s electricity, and when it shuts down the nation will have nowhere to turn for its energy supplies except Russia – the very country that, in its Soviet guise, annexed Lithuania in the 1940s, deported tens of thousands of its people to Siberia, and did not permit the nation"s independence until the Soviet Union itself fell apart in 1991," The Financial Times noted in its website, writes ELTA.

Tony Barber, author of the article, quotes President Adamkus, who states seeing no reason for decommissioning the plant.

"We"re becoming an energy-isolated island. I"d even call it a Russian monopoly. We don"t understand the real reason why the EU insisted on closing the Ignalina plant, which is very safe operationally. Finland is building new nuclear power units, and Lithuania is being forced to close something that"s not broken. If you ask if it"s unfair or not, I don"t believe it is fair," The Financial Times quoted Adamkus.

The daily also pays attention to the fact that a lot of employees, the majority of whom are ethnic Russians, will lose their jobs after closing the Ignalina nuclear power plant.

"Chief defender of the workers at Ignalina is Viktor Shevaldin, an ethnic Russian and the plant"s director-general for the past 17 years. Animated, silver-haired, tie knotted loosely below unbuttoned collar, Mr Shevaldin tells it straight, as only a Russian from the Soviet era can: "If they let me do the negotiating in Brussels, this plant would stay open. But one side won"t take me there, and the other side doesn"t want me there," The Financial Times writes.

"But Mr Shevaldin is no representative of Russian interests in disguise: "I once had an offer to leave here to manage a Russian plant. I refused. Ya – litovsky patriot!" he declares in Russian ("I am a Lithuanian patriot!")," the daily quoted Shevaldin.

(Source: The Baltic Course)

1 comment:

Alexandra Prokopenko said...

Lithuania will be forced to buy electricity from Russia anyway after the Ignalina closure, even if they dislike the idea of cooperation with Russia. New Lithuanian plant is still not agreed upon, while Russians are about to build one in Kaliningrad.
(Speaking about history - if we go on for historical justice, Lithuania should return Vilnia (modern Vilnius) to Belarus, as an old capital of the nation granted to Lithuania because it did not have any large cities to become capital). In place of a small country like Lithuania I would rather shut up and take care for the well-being of the nation instead of blaming someone for occupation and Siberia. Isn't the EU's demands on closing the plant an act against the Lithuanian nation with great economic consequences? So who is the conqueror then?