In late 2020, Belarus inaugurated the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (Astravyets NPP). This facility – funded by the Russian government and built by the Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom – is one that Lithuania considers a threat to its national security. The project has already been causing frictions in the Baltic region that are yet to be resolved; the situation is emblematic of why and how Moscow is advancing its interests by exploiting the nuclear energy aspirations of various countries in Europe.
As a follow-up to a November 2020 webinar held by ICDS, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Embassy in Tallinn, we are pleased to present three papers written to explore the issue further, with a particular focus on the state of play in relation to the Astravyets NPP in Belarus.
Andrea Bonelli outlines how Rosatom has been making inroads into Europe, why this represents a significant challenge to national, regional and European security and how Europe has been responding so far. Yuri Tsarik explores why the Astravyets NPP has become a liability to Belarus and how the current domestic political upheaval and the ensuing regional geopolitical tensions are influencing its future prospects.
In a longer analysis, Tomas Janeliūnas describes how Lithuania came to view the Astravyets NPP as a major threat, what actions it has pursued nationally, regionally and internationally to address it and why it has become such a thorny issue in the relations between the three Baltic states.
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