BRUSSELS, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus said his country was facing a major energy crisis as voters weighed in on a controversial nuclear energy plant.
Lithuanians headed to the polls last weekend to consider a non-binding measure to keep its Chernobyl-style Ignalina nuclear power plant running beyond its scheduled close date in December. A low turnout, however, made the move invalid.
Europe had demanded the closure of the plant as a condition of Lithuanian ascendancy to the European Union, but many say shutting the plant down will leave the country vulnerable to Russia for energy resources, Russian online news service Regnum said Friday.
"We need to pull together our efforts to escape a new bankruptcy in the power-generating sector this time," Adamkus said.
He noted there would be a high cost for Lithuania, both financially and politically, if it moved to join on to the Druzhba oil pipeline from Russia to Eastern Europe.
EU leaders this week had considered plans to create a Baltic electricity grid with Sweden as Lithuania has blamed its partners for lacking clear direction on energy policies.