"A decision is made to set up a joint enterprise after the referendum and to resolve remaining issues, which are still being debated and discussed during the talks, until then," Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius told journalists following a Thursday meeting of the Baltic premiers in Vilnius.
The prime ministers also decided to set up an intergovernmental working group to coordinate issues important for the project on the governmental level. The Latvian and Estonian prime ministers reiterated their support for the project but stressed that they were awaiting Lithuania voters' final decision.
In a memorandum signed on Thursday, the prime ministers also called on energy companies – Visaginas nuclear power plant, Eesti Energia, Latvenergo and Hitachi – "to finalize the negotiations on the outstanding issues and establish the Project Company in a timely manner, taking into account the results of the national referendum in Lithuania."
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip acknowledged he would be disappointed if Lithuanians voted against the new nuclear power plant. He reiterated that Estonia would like to get around 300 megawatts from the new nuclear facility in order to diversify its energy sources.
"We are committed to take part in this nuclear power plant project... It's up to Lithuanians to make this decision either to build it or not. But I would be disappointed if the answer is no," Ansip said at a joint press conference.
He called Visaginas nuclear power plant "a very important political project" but stressed that the new plant should be profitable.
Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said he saw „good progress“ in the project.
"We are moving forward with this project and we are interested to be part of it. Of course, there is this issue of the referendum… Further developments will be subject to referendum decisions. That's quite clear," the Latvian premier said.
An advisory referendum on the construction of the new nuclear power plant will be held alongside the upcoming Seimas elections on 14 October.