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Belarus opens nuclear power plant amid criticism from Lithuania

President Alexander Lukashenko cut the ribbon in the Astravyets plant Saturday, saying it”will serve as an impetus for bringing the most innovative technology to the nation, and innovative directions in science and education”.

However, the plant is only 40 kilometers southeast of Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, and also the nation’s energy operator Litgrid cut on the inflow of power in Belarus on Tuesday, the afternoon Astravyets started producing power.

The move was based on a law prohibiting power imports from Belarus after the plant started operations.

Lithuanian police say the job was plagued by injuries, stolen substances, and mistreatment of employees.

However, Rosatom, the Russian nation atomic firm that constructed the plant, stated its layout conformed to the greatest global standards and was backed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The opening came further protests from Lukashenko’s rule, together with heaps of demonstrators arrested by authorities in Minsk on Saturday.

There were three weeks of anti-government protests in Belarus as a presidential election in August gave Lukashenko 80 percent of the vote a result that the resistance and outside observers say has been manipulated.