Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Lithuanian foreign minister to visit Belarus on November 12

By Zakhar Shcharbakow, BelaPAN

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius will visit Belarus on November 12, according to the Belarusian foreign ministry's press office.

Mr. Linkevicius is scheduled to meet with his Belarusian counterpart, Uladzimir Makey.

Lithuania's news website delfi.lt reported on Wednesday that the foreign ministers were expected to discuss Belarus' relations with the European Union and cooperation between Belarus and Lithuania in spheres such as transport, power engineering, environmental protection, agriculture, and border control.

Messrs. Makey and Linkevicius are also to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Hrodna region close to the Lithuanian border, said the report.
In an interview published by Lithuania's newspaper Lietuvos Zinios on November 9, Mr. Linkevicius denied reports that Vilnius had given secret approval to the design of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant to make the controversial project comply with the UN Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

Mr. Linkevicius dismissed the reports as untrue. "It is completely absurd to claim that Lithuania can strike some secret deals," he said.

Lithuania will continue insisting that the nuclear power plant meet all safety standards, according to Mr. Linkevicius. "We will never lower this bar as safety requirements for the nuclear power plant that is under construction 50 kilometers off Vilnius are an extremely sensitive issue not only for us but also for the entire region," said the minister.

The reports also suggested that Lithuania planned to help Belarus supply electricity to be generated by the plant to Poland and Sweden.
Mr. Linkevicius' previous visit to Belarus came in July 2014. He had a brief spell as ambassador to Belarus prior to his appointment as foreign minister in late 2012.