Lithuania's Negative Energy Bad for Europe

Foot-dragging on nuke plant could force ugly bargain with Russia
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 5:25 PM CDT
Ignalina's reactor is shown in a 2004 file photo.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Lithuanians "should be furious" with politicians who have backed the Baltic nation into a "potentially appalling" crisis of energy and policy, the Economist notes. As condition for its admission to the European Union, Lithuania promised to shutter its Ignalina nuclear power plant by 2009—and pols have made no move to replace the energy, raising the specter of bargaining with Russia.

"Lithuania’s brave but unpopular veto on new talks with Russia" could force leaders to find a way keep the plant open; opposition groups contesting fall elections say they'll break the promise entirely, meaning " an almighty bust-up with Brussels." That means a turn to Russia, which will be in good bargaining position—or hoping the US can swoop in to save the day somehow.