Belarus opens its first nuclear power plant.
Image Credit: Euronews.com
On Saturday, Belarus inaugurated the opening of its first nuclear power plant located in the city of Astravyets. The city is close to Lithuanian borders. In fact, the nuclear power plant is just 40km away from Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius.
Lithuania has criticized the opening of the nuclear power plant, as according to them, it has been plagued by the amount of accidents, mistreatment of staff and also stolen materials.
The Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, denied all allegations made by Lithuanian authorities about the safety of the plant, and said that it actually conforms to the highest level demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and is actually endorsed by the agency.
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko cut the ribbon on Saturday, and said the nuclear plant will
Will serve as an impetus for attracting the most advanced technologies to the country, and innovative directions in science and education.President Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus has been plagued by protests since the election on August, where the President Alexander Lukashenko won 80% of the vote. The opposition and several European countries believe that it was a rigged election. The President clamped down on the protesters, where they were captured some and put in black vans, where they were taken to an unknown location. The masked men, along with riot police were beating and firing rubber bullets on thousands of protesters. Read more about the protests here:
Students were also detained as they were protesting against the autocratic leader, in favor for democracy. Around 15,000 protesters were arrested since the Aug 9 election. In response to the harsh treatment of protests, and election rigging, the European Union sanctioned around 40 Belarusian officials , while the United States also sanctioned several others in Belarus.
Recently, the son of the autocratic leader, himself, and another 14 officials were also sanctioned by the EU, over their roles in the crackdown of the peaceful protests. This puts the number of sanctioned officials in Belarus to 59.