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Baltic States: EU Commissioner To Discuss Membership

Brussels, 2 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - The European Union's (EU) Commissioner responsible for relations with Eastern Europe and the CIS, Hans Van den Broek, today starts a three-day visit to Lithuania and Latvia.

Officials in Brussels tell RFE/RL that Van den Broek will explain the EU's current internal assessment -- and, he will inform Riga and Vilnius of areas where increased efforts need to be made if they are to take on the obligations of EU membership.

Our correspondent reports Van den Broek will also urge Lithuania not to re-start two of the Chernobyl-style reactors at the Ignalina nuclear power plant, until urgent safety measures recommended by international experts are implemented. The two reactors are due for shut-down this year for routine maintenance.

In Latvia, Van den Broek will inaugurate a waste-water treatment plant that the EU has helped finance.