Lithuania to hold referendum on NPP already next week
Lithuania will hold a referendum on whether to build the Visaginas nuclear energy plant when voters go to the polls on 14 October to elect members of Parliament. Meanwhile, Bulgarians will probably vote on the future of its Belene nuclear station before the end of the year.
Lithuanian voters will be asked to support or reject the following statement: "I support the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Lithuania."
In July, the Lithuanian parliament decided that the referendum on Visaginas would be held alongside the elections, to cut electoral costs improve voter turnout. At least half of the voters must cast their vote for the referendum result to be validated.
The incumbent centre-right government of Andrius Kubilius is strongly committed to building the power plant.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė said the referendum is an opportunity for the electorate to be consulted on an important decision. "It's an obligation for the government to make an in-depth presentation of the project to the public," said a presidential statement quoted by the Lithuania Tribune.
If approved, the new nuclear power plant is expected to be completed within a decade. It would replace the Soviet-built Ignalina nuclear station (see background) and is to be build next to the site.
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The assistance programme for the Ukrainian gas sector
Ukraine is important to Russian geopolitics, and its main focus is on gas pipes that encircle Europe and connect Russia with the West like an umbilical cord. Wojciech Jakóbik, independent analyst at Jagiellonian Institute, developed some guidelines for Europe and a plan for Ukraine to decrease dependence on Russian energy supplies.
Ukrainian gas transit and South Stream: more than meets the eye
Is the Ukrainian gas transit route still a risk? Will the construction of the South Stream pipeline further reduce the importance of Ukraine as a transit country? Or is there more at stake here than meets the eye? Julian Wieczorkiewicz and Arno Behrens from the Centre for European Policy Studies are looking for answers.
- Weekly analytical report: April 14 - 21, 2014
In this issue of the Weekly analytical report: - How does Europe prepare to counter Russian "gas leverage"; - Will Russia disrupt gas supplies and whom will blaim; - Will Ukraine be able to take full advantage of the reverse supplies; - Why is Russia not in a hurry to provide electricity to occupied Crimea; - How much is already earned on stopping corrupt schemes; - How Ukrainian miners assess Russian provocations.