Lithuanian premier invites Poland to build new Ignalina reactor
Jul 27, 2006, 13:35 GMT
Warsaw - Lithuania's new Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas has invited Poland to participate in the construction of a strategic third nuclear power reactor at Lithuania's existing Soviet-era Ignalina facility.
Although no concrete decisions were announced, energy policy dominated talks between the visiting Kirkilas and Poland's new Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski in Warsaw Thursday.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have initially agreed to push ahead with the construction of a third reactor at the Ignalina station. Should Poland join, it would its first involvement with nuclear energy.
Kirkilas reiterated the need for a so-called 'energy bridge' to link electrical power grids between Lithuania and Poland thus hooking the Baltic state into Western European electrical power grids.
Both leaders expressed opposition to German-Russian plans for the construction of a natural gas pipeline across the Baltic Sea floor. The leaders of the two EU newcomer states concurred the project should not receive funding from the European Union.
The Baltic states and Poland have condemned EU partner Germany for striking the energy deal over their heads with Russia and allege that it poses a threat to their energy security.
Such important decisions concerning energy strategy should be made in consultations between EU partners, the four states insist.
In a move which recently strengthened economic and energy ties between the two states, the Lithuanian state recently permitted Poland's largest oil refiner PKN Orlen to buy a controlling stake in Lithuania's only oil refinery, Mazeikiu Nafta.
Poland's status as a fellow-member of NATO and the EU is thought to have been a significant factor in the decision to sell to Orlen.
Thursday's trip to Warsaw was the first foreign visit of new Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur