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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Time for real change: Ukraine crisis shows bankruptcy of “security-as-usual”
Poland’s proposal to reduce the EU’s energy dependence on Russia by collective buying of gas and maximising domestic production of coal shows a reactive, “security-as-usual” approach that is totally behind the times, writes Luca Bergamaschi of think tank E3G. According to Bergamaschi, the EU should instead improve its energy security by radically reforming its energy system, above all by improving energy efficiency. Studies show that Germany could cut its gas consumption by half in ten years if it wanted to – let alone a country like Ukraine, which is much more wasteful in use of gas. They also show that this provides tremendous business opportunities for companies in the EU.
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.
- Weekly analytical report: July 21 - 27, 2014
In this issue: - How are the sanctions against Russia broadened and what is their impact; - In which circumstances the gas negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are going to be renewed; - Why energy initiatives of the Ukrainian government faced criticism from both the MPs and experts; - How did war with terrorists influenced the energy sector of the South-Eastern Ukraine; - Why the hot water supply is being disrupted in some cities of Ukraine.