Lithuania pleased at German support for nuclear plant

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vilnius - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis on Tuesday praised German support for a planned nuclear power station to be built in the Baltic country, describing it as a 'guarantee' to potential investors.

Speaking after a meeting in Vilnius with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, Azubalis said such support 'is very important for Lithuania as it acts as a form of guarantee of solidarity for potential investors.'

Lithuania is currently holding a secretive tender for construction of a 5-billion-euro (7 billion dollars) nuclear power plant near the town of Visaginas, to replace a decommissioned Soviet-era plant.

German companies E.On and RWE are believed to be among the companies in contention to build the facility, which Lithuania hopes will also win financial backing from Estonia, Latvia and Poland.

Westerwelle praised the Lithuanian government's attempts to introduce tough fiscal austerity measures, saying it had been 'very consistent.'

He voiced hopes that by the time EU member state Lithuania realizes its ambition to join the eurozone, the currency would be regarded as 'stable' because such stability is 'a precondition for attracting foreign investment.'

During his one-day trip to Lithuania, Westerwelle also met with President Dalia Grybauskaite, who said their talks had covered 'the German contribution to the region's energy independence issues and the implementation of specific security guarantees for the Baltic countries.'

The Baltics, still sceptical of the intentions of Russia due to their history inside the former Soviet Union, often look to their southern neighbour in Germany as a bulwark against Moscow's influence.

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