Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020
Teil des Dossiers Tschernobyl

A poisoned chalice
The Astravets nuclear power station

Kamil Kłysiński

Deutsche Fassung


Astravets is the site of the first Belarusian nuclear power station. In 2012, Belarus and Russia agreed that Russia would fund almost the entire project, and that it would deliver the necessary technology. The power station will produce enough electricity to cover half of today’s consumption in Belarus. For the government, this is a strategically important project, which will signifi-cantly impact the energy industry and the political situation in the region. Originally, it was designed primarily for export to the EU. However, the re-fusal by Lithuania and Poland to purchase electricity from Belarus cut Belarus off from its most important potential electricity export markets. The govern-ment is therefore now looking for ways of using the excess nuclear power in its own country. The loan from Russia that was agreed in order to finance the project will place a burden on the Belarusian state budget for many years to come, and will provide the Kremlin with one more way of exercising leverage over Belarus.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 331–340)