ISN SECURITY WATCH
March 1, 2006
The governments of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have signed an agreement to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
In a joint statement carried by news agencies, the prime ministers of the three countries invited Baltic national energy companies to invest in the project, and agreed to work out an energy strategy for the three states.
It is very important that members of the EU sustain the right to choose which energy sector they should develop, the statement said.
The three governments also pledged to build a nuclear power plant in Lithuania before 2015.
Three energy companies – Latvenergo, Eesti Energa, and Lietuvos energia AB – will work on the project, which will cost an estimated US$3-4 billion.
As part of its deal to join the EU, Lithuania pledged to shut down its nuclear power plant in Ignalina by 2009. The plant currently provides 80 per cent of the countryelectricity, and also supplies Estonia and Latvia with power.
The Ignalina plant is similar in type to that at Chernobyl in Ukraine, site of the worlds worst nuclear accident in 1986.