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14 February 2020, 14:02

Belarus, Russia working to resolve nuclear power plant situation

SVETLOGORSK, 14 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia are working on a solution to resolve the situation with the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with personnel of Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill on 14 February, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “You know, Russians were supposed to commission the first unit in 2018 and the second one in 2019. They failed to meet the deadlines and had to face huge penalties as a result.”

In his words, in Sochi Vladimir Putin suggested looking for a mutually acceptable solution in order not to start the meeting with talk about the penalties. The Russian leader also noted that the state budget was not ready to make these payments. “I said it is a good proposal, I have a counterproposal. Since you've failed to meet the deadlines, let's agree that you will reduce the interest rate to the level [of the nuclear power plants] you are building in Hungary and Vietnam (somewhere close to 3%). In return we are not going to resort to penalties. Quid pro quo as a result. And since you've failed to meet the deadlines, we will start paying off the loan in five years instead of two. Logical? It is. It is inconvenient but we've decided we are going to come to terms in this matter, there is no other way. Either we will enforce penalties for failing to meet the deadlines (and huge money is involved) or they will adjust terms of the loan. It is quite normal,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.

He added that the Russian president had shown no rejection of the proposal.

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