Lukashenka lambastes critics of nuclear plant project

Monday, April 28, 2008

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has attacked critics of the government’s plans to build a nuclear power plant in Belarus, describing them as “enemies of the people”, BelaPAN reports.

While talking to reporters in the Homyel region on April 26, the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, Mr. Lukashenka described scientists who oppose the project as “gangsters from politics” and accused opposition politicians of capitalizing on the subject for political gain. “They won’t manage to do this. I will not allow them to do this, using all resources and all power that I have in my hands today,” official information sources quoted him as saying.

He noted that the critics “would have done just like I’m doing, they would have supported me had they truly cared about the welfare of our people.” Mr. Lukashenka claimed that the opponents were using the subject to win support ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections. “They are very far away from people. But they won’t mange to achieve anything, we already have a completely different people now,” he noted.

Mr. Lukashenka stressed that Belarus was surrounded by nuclear stations and faced nuclear risks anyway. “Was the Chernobyl plant located on our territory? No. Who suffered most from this catastrophe? We, the Belarusians. Where’s the guarantee that some station in Russia, Ukraine or even in Europe is the safest? There’re no such guarantees. We don’t guarantee that tomorrow, God forbid, there will be no explosion somewhere and we will not be hit again. Then why do we refuse from having a [nuclear] station of our own?” he was quoted as saying.

The head of state said that Belarus needed to have a nuclear power plant to “reduce such big dependence on oil and gas from one country.”

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