When Belarus embarked on the construction of its first nuclear power plant in Astravyets in 2012, the official objective was to significantly reduce the share played by imported Russian gas in the country’s electricity production.
Russia and Belarus had been unable to reach an agreement concerning co-operation in the oil sector. On 10 October a compromise was reached.
The Parliament of Lithuania has appealed to the government to take action to halt the construction of the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus.
During Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev’s working visit to Minsk on 18 July, Russia and Belarus signed a general contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus. The signature brought to an end the complex negotiations which had been underway since January 2009 involving the leadership in Minsk, the Russian government and Atomstroyexport, the Russian company that will be the main contractor of the investment.
Belarus generated a surplus at US$1.9 billion in foreign trade in goods and services in the first four months of 2012 as compared to a deficit of US$2.8 billion for the same timeframe a year earlier. Minsk owes this, its highest positive trade balance since 1991, mainly to a significant increase in exports of petroleum products manufactured by the refineries in Navapolatsk and Mazyr.