By Jamila Babayeva
The European Commission (EC) has called Armenia to work towards the earliest possible closure of the Metsamor nuclear power plant.
It was stated in the report on Armenia's implementation of the plan on the European Neighbourhood Programme in 2013.
The EC also has urged Armenia to speed up the implementation of the roadmap on energy efficiency and the target of 30 percent of generated energy from renewable sources.
The Armenian government made a decision on March 27 to extend the operation period of the second power unit of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor, and at the same time activate the construction of a new nuclear power plant.
Under the Armenian government's recent decision, the Finance Ministry was instructed to take measures to sign an agreement with the Russian government to draw loans to implement the program by May 1, 2014.
Metsamor NPP, built in 1970, was closed down after the devastating earthquake in Spitak in 1988, but resumed its operation in 1995 despite international protests.
Now Armenia intends to operate Metsamor NPP till 2026. The Armenian government reached an agreement with Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom to help keep the plant running beyond its original closing date of 2016.
Armenia postponed the plant's closure until 2020 in 2012.
The European Union labeled Metsamor NPP a danger to the entire region several years ago. Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea said in March 2013 that the EU continues to ask Armenia to stop using the Metsamor nuclear power plant as soon as possible.
"We have repeatedly appealed to the government of Armenia, asking it to develop a program for the conservation of the nuclear plant as soon as possible," Hristea said.
Regional countries Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia have repeatedly urged Armenia to close the outdated Metsamor NPP immediately. But, Armenia still does not attach any particular importance to nuclear safety.