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Vytautas Landsbergis: Lithuania experiencing nuclear blackmail

VILNIUS - Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuania's first post-independence leader, has expressed his concern over the Astravyets nuclear power plant that Belarus is building close to the border with Lithuania.

Landsbergis said in a speech on Thursday, the Day of Restoration of the State of Lithuania, that the country was experiencing "nuclear blackmail".

"A nuclear, psychological hell machine is under construction a few dozen kilometers away, just outside the gates of Vilnius. A guillotine is being imposed on Lithuania. We are on the frontline, with Europe behind us, facing Moscow's triple nuclear aggression that is aimed, first of all, at breaking our spirit," he said from a balcony of the House of Signatories to the 99th anniversary of the Act of Independence of Feb. 16, 1918.

Appealing to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Landsbergis said: "Alexander, the destruction of Lithuania will not save you. A rope for your execution is already swinging from the Kremlin chimes. It's a matter of a short time. So let's defend us together. First of all, give up the destructive construction site for Rosatom's project in Astravyets near Vilnius. There are other places."  

Landsbergis called on participants of the commemorative event in downtown Vilnius to join forces against the project.

"Let's join our hands in a Baltic Chain again. If the Baltic Chain of millions moved from Vilnius to Astravyets, the world would see that," he said.

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