Criteria for selecting partners
By Tatiana Polezhay
“In the near future, we plan to spend huge amounts of money on ensuring our energy security. We’re aware of your possibilities, which are great in all spheres, and would like Japan to take part in implementing these projects,” noted the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, on meeting representatives of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Belarus understands the immense importance of expanding co-operation and business contacts with foreign countries and with leading companies operating in various business areas. “Raising the country’s energy potential is of paramount importance for us. Energy security directly influences the dynamics of our social and economic development and the protection of national sovereignty,” explained the President. Mr. Lukashenko admitted that Belarus’ fuel-energy balance structure is unsatisfying. Natural gas fuels 95 percent of electricity generated. According to the President, this was once a positive factor, “However, with prices now skyrocketing, dependence on a single source is a danger to economic and political security.” Accordingly, Belarus needs to find alternative paths for its energy industry, inviting new partners to accomplish strategic goals.
Mr. Lukashenko believes that building our own nuclear power station is the best solution, looking at international experience and the importance of diversifying energy sources. He adds that there are also plans to build power plants and hydropower plants in Belarus, fuelled by coal, peat, firewood and other alternative sources.
On addressing the delegation from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mr. Lukashenko explained that the company’s lack of presence on the Belarusian market is a disadvantage which can soon be remedied, “We’re ready to change the situation, creating the most favourable conditions for your operation in Belarus, if you decide to accept them. We appreciate your comprehensive experience in matters of nuclear energy: from research, development and design to the construction of very successful power plants. You manufacture a wide range of products for this industry, including new generation products and nuclear power plants,” stressed the President.
He added that Belarus is keen to learn from Japan’s experience in alleviating the consequences of radiation exposure and overcoming psychological prejudices. Mr. Lukashenko noted that Belarus has already advanced much by co-operating with Japan in dealing with the results of the Chernobyl catastrophe.