Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wants to use all means to prevent the completion of Slovakia's nuclear power plant in Mochovce (Nitra Region).
"National unity is required for this reason," Kurz said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "The government, at all levels, is committed to stopping the completion."
Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer) responded that Kurz's statements go far beyond his competences, TASR wrote.
Meanwhile, the two politicians discussed the matter on the phone.
"Mr Kurz is trying to intervene with the sovereignty and the decision-making of the Slovak Republic," Pellegrini said, as quoted by TASR.
Austria is against Mochovce
Austria has long been protesting the completion of the third and fourth reactors of the Mochovce nuclear power plant. In addition, the Austrian NGO Global 2000 is currently organising a campaign to fight against the third reactor.
"I have clearly explained Austria's safety concerns and demanded the greatest transparency possible," Kurz said after the meeting with Leonore Gewessler of Global 2000, as quoted by TASR.
The power-generating company Slovenské Elektrárne, which administers the power plant in Mochovce, is expected to launch the third reactor this November or in March 2020 at the latest.
Pellegrini invites Kurz to Slovakia
Pellegrini understands Austria's concerns but rejects Kurz's interference in Slovakia's autonomous right to decide on its nuclear plants.
"I understand that he must carry out his domestic politics," said Pellegrini, as quoted by TASR. "I understand that he must react to the mood in Austrian society, but it is my duty to defend the interests of the Slovak Republic."
Pellegrini has reiterated that the new reactors will comply with strict safety criteria. He has also invited Kurz to Slovakia.
"I officially invite him to the construction site, because I am not sure if Mr chancellor has ever seen such a nuclear plant in person," added Pellegrini, as quoted by SITA.