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Belarus to build N-plant despite pressures, says President

June 22, 23:02 UTC+3 MINSK
"We’ll make a great leap forward and will naturally be more competitive after we complete construction of the nuclear plant," Alexander Lukashenko said
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MINSK, June 22. /TASS/. Belarus observes all the international regulations in the process of building the country’s first nuclear power plant and it will not yield to pressures exerted by opponents of the project, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday while taking the floor at the All-Belarus Popular Assembly.

"We’ll make a great leap forward and will naturally be more competitive after we complete construction of the nuclear plant," he said.

Lukashenko said Belarus was subject to outside pressures. "There’s a lot of talk about safety and a lot of unsubstantiated criticism" towards Belarus in connection with the nuclear plant project, he said.

"People must know this," he went on. "We know it and won’t kneel to others. We’ll build everything we planned to build."

"I’d like to state most unambiguously there are no claims against us as regards the authorized international organizations and the International Atomic Energy Agency in what concerns compliance with norms and procedures," Lukashenko said.

He recalled that about 2,000 new jobs would be created in the period of 2018 through to 2020 as two power units at the Belarusian nuclear plant come on stream.

"This (commissioning of the units - TASS) will mark a step to cheaper energy resources and consequently to greater competitiveness of all sectors of the economy - the manufacturing industries, transport, and the tertiary industry," Lukashenko said.

He feels confident Belarus should use the advantages of nuclear power engineering in order to set up a cluster of electricity-consuming industrial facilities.

"It’s important to form the conditions under which companies and individual customers would go over from the natural resources like gas and oil to the relatively cheap electric power," Lukashenko said.

"We must replace today the commodities we’re short of - gas, oil and so on - with electricity," he said. "We must prepared our economy and the people to enjoying an affluent supply of electric power," he said adding that precisely planned steps were needed to replace gas cookers with electric ones on private household or to make the cookers more efficient - the way they are in other parts of the world."

As he mentioned a possibility of exports of the electricity produced at the first nuclear plant, he said customers would appear if the product had fair quality and normal price.

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