President Gitanas Nausėda had a telephone conversation with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to discuss the Ostravets nuclear power plant, the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit, negotiations on the multiannual financial perspective and tackling social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The President emphasized that smooth functioning of the internal market and financial response adequate to the scale of the crisis, i.e., increased multiannual EU budget and sufficient European recovery fund was needed for the economic recovery of the EU. The President also said that the situation called for a more flexible approach to the use of financial instruments as well as special attention to the funding of cohesion and agriculture priorities which could mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and would allow using the situation for developing digitization, green economy and circular economy projects. The President also highlighted the need to create a level playing field for all member states to benefit from the funding of the recovery fund.
The President shared the results of talks with the leaders of the Eastern Partnership countries and welcomed the support package initiated by the European Commission for the Eastern Partners to combat the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak noting that support for overcoming the crisis should not be provided at the expense of reform programs.
“Stepping up the Eastern Partnership policy and agenda is highly important at this difficult time when we see disinformation campaigns carried out by some states. We have to build an ambitious and long-term agenda for the Eastern Partnership based on mutual understanding and increased support for those countries which are prepared to pursue a European perspective through political, economic and legal reforms,” said the President. The President pointed out that the Eastern Partnership summit, scheduled for June, could be a significant step towards achieving the objectives of this policy, if attended by all member states and Eastern partnership countries.
As to the Ostravets NPP, the President expressed concern that nuclear fuel had already been brought to the site with a view to load it shortly without resolving the very serious safety problems in the NPP. The President said that the European Commission had to mobilize all the instruments within its jurisdiction for Belarus to ensure that all the requirements of the EU stress tests were met before the launch of the NPP and safety of EU citizens was secured. The President also informed about the conversation with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus emphasizing that President Lukashenko agreed to accept international experts to inspect the safety of the nuclear power plant.
The President also called on Ursula von der Leyen to be personally involved in resolution of issues related to the safety of the Ostravets NPP and spoke about Lithuania’s ambition to become an EU-wide regional civil safety center in charge of managing nuclear and radiological incidents. “The Ostravets NPP in Belarus is a nuclear safety issue to the entire EU and for the EU it is also a test of solidarity, collective response and responsibility to its citizens. We must secure the safety of all Europeans as well as prevent the electricity generated by the third countries in unsafe power plants from entering the EU internal market,” said the President.
Last updated 2020.05.15 08:53Back