Marius Laurinavičius
Photo: DELFI

From the statements of Gitanas Nausea should be several paragraphs.

This week, the Commission on foreign Affairs of the Lithuanian Parliament convened an extraordinary meeting in which the Minister of foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius gave a report on the meeting with foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in new York. After discussions of this meeting a statement was made by the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausea, which called on Belarus to meet international standards for nuclear safety, but noted that further isolation of Belarus would be irresponsible in the context of its rapprochement with Russia.

Correspondent in Vilnius spoke with a senior analyst at the Vilnius Institute of policy analysis Marius Laurinavicius about a possible resumption of dialogue with Belarus.

— Recently, the Belarusian issue began especially often discussed in the Lithuanian media and society. In your opinion, what is the reason?

— It is connected with the political events, which, of course, connected with the foreign policy situation. During the election campaign, the President of Lithuania Gitanos Nausea has declared that it wants to change the relations with Belarus and to start a dialogue. With the beginning of the presidential term has begun action in this direction. This raises many questions in the political community and in society.

— Why is the new President of Lithuania is interested in dialogue with Belarus?

— Here something is difficult to assume, because we do not know the content of the dialogue, which is today so much debate. When we don’t know what they are talking about hand, it is difficult to judge why the current President decided to change the policy of the previous President, when the political dialogue with Belarus has not been conducted, although economic relations at the time were very strong. From the explanations of the President and Minister of foreign Affairs of Lithuania should be several paragraphs. The first of these is that the changing geopolitical situation of Western countries, including the United States and Europe, changing attitudes to Belarus, begin a dialogue, and then we need to participate to understand the processes. At the same time stating that we would like to help Belarus defend the independence in the context of the push by Russia with the deepening of integration. Finally, it is stated that Lithuania has a lot of interests in relations with Belarus, including in the context of the NPP, and this dialogue will help to resolve the issues and defend the interests of Lithuania.

Nevertheless, Lithuania has promised to continue to block an agreement between the EU and Belarus due to the issue of safety of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant.

Is not entirely accurate. From what I have heard, the position is as follows: progress of Lithuania’s position to block the agreement between the EU and Belarus will not be the case if there will be no points on nuclear safety and on human rights. You need to understand that such a statement does not mean anything. We don’t know on what conditions Lithuania might change the decision about the blocking of the agreement between the EU and Belarus and is it possible to change this position. In particular, the Lithuanian policy of the conservatives declare that according to unofficial information, the position of Lithuania in this question may vary. So we can’t firmly say that Lithuania’s position on blocking this agreement has not changed.

— How about a position not to buy electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant?

— Yes, it will remain unchanged. Not only because this position is not just declared, but it is approved by law. To change such a law would be very difficult.

— Is it possible bilateral cooperation under condition of preservation of Lithuania’s position on the purchase of energy from nuclear power plants and the agreement between Belarus and the EU?

— The President and the foreign Minister of Lithuania suggests that it is possible to separate the issue of the Belarusian NPP from all other relations between the countries and they will try to do it. I personally do not see how it is possible to separate the nuclear plant from the rest, both from Lithuania, and Belarus. If Lithuania continues to block the agreement between the EU and Belarus due to the issue of nuclear power plant if Lithuania under no circumstances will not buy electricity from an NPP in Astravets, that is, of course, will affect all of our relationships, including economic ones.

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