Belarus' president pledged Thursday to begin construction of the country's first nuclear power plant next year, news agencies reported.
Alexander Lukashenko said the plant would help guarantee the ex-Soviet republic's national security.
The project "is dictated not by some political ambitions, but by the necessity to ensure the country's energy security in case of a decrease in gas and oil resources, supply problems or the increase in energy carriers' costs," Lukashenko was quoted by ITAR-Tass news agency as saying.
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