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MINSK, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said during a working trip to the Grodno region on Thursday that Belarus intended to build two nuclear power stations in its territory
“The first nuclear power station will substitute for at least 5-7 billion cubic meters of natural gas when it begins operation. We purchase 22-23 billion cubic meters of natural gas of which almost 80-85 percent are spent on generation of electric energy. So, let’s draw the line: all disputes and meditations on the subject of whether we should have a nuclear power station or not are over. We’ve started building the first nuclear power station. Time will come when we build a second one,” Lukashenko said.
Asked to comment on the expediency of building nuclear power stations in Belarus, Lukashenko said that the country had a shortage of electric energy.
“That is why we will use all electric energy produced by this station ourselves taken account of the state’s needs for development. There will be a market for our electric energy. It’s our internal market in the first place. Besides, we’ve reached an agreement with the Russians that we will join our efforts and will together sell electric energy to Europe if there is a need in electric energy from our station and the one in Kaliningrad,” the Belarusian leader said.
Lukashenko said that the Poles and the Lithuanians were the main opponents to Belarus’ plans to build a nuclear power station in its territory.
“They plan to build their own nuclear power stations, and this is competition,” the Belarusian leader said.
Alexander Lukashenko has urged Belarusians to use Russian assistance in mastering high technologies in atomic energy.
Lukashenko believes that the Belarusians should not only learn to design and build that nuclear power station together with the Russians but also try to gain access to the most sacred thing -high technologies. “But we must deserve this right and prove that we can do it,” Lukashenko said at a meeting with construction workers and the residents of the nearby town of Ostrovets which was held at a place where the first Belarusian nuclear power plant is going to be built.
The Belarusian leader said that the world demand in atomic energy was growing and that it was hard for the Russians to meet all those needs.
He recalled that many felt skeptical about Belarus’s space program when it was launched several years before. Many thought it to be unrealistic and doubted its expediency.
“I want that overtime we become as acclaimed in atomic energy as we are now in the space industry,” the Belarusian president said.