Lithuania will not be among the first wave of new EU members if it does not set a date for closing Ignalina 2, according to former President Algirdas Brazauskas. Lithuania has promised closure of Ignalina 1 in 2005 (see NEI, March 2001, p3) and had planned to determine the fate of unit 2 in 2004. However Brazauskas said that during talks in Brussels, enlargement commissioner Günter Verheugen had stated that next year Lithuania must set a date for its closure in order to be considered for EU membership.
Meanwhile, Ignalina has stopped supplying electricity to Belarus due to the expiry of a contract between Lietuvos Energija and Belenergo, and is operating at minimum capacity as a result. Another contract may soon be concluded with Russia’s Inter RAO, which is ready to supply Lithuanian electricity to Belarus.