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. However, the Belarusian leadership’s decision to build the plant in close co-operation with Russian partners defeated that purpose. Russia has in fact taken over full control of its implementation as it is financing the US$ 10 billion project almost entirely. Russia is the project’s contractor, is providing the technology and will also provide the nuclear fuel. The plant will thus diversify the fuel mix in electricity production, but not the source of imports. Moreover, as Poland and Lithuania have refused to buy electricity from the plant, Belarus now faces the challenge of utilising the energy surplus that will emerge.