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Baltic States reach an agreement on Rail Baltica contract

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe agreement on Rail Baltica project’s financing and completion conditions has been reached and signed in all three Baltic capitals, as Saeima’s European Affairs Committee was told by Chairperson of RB Rail Baiba Rubesa.

«It may seem that this day is a dramatic date, but I would like to clear some of the drama,» – Rubesa said, adding that the agreement has been reached and technical work will follow soon to ensure all nine Baltic institutions sign the document.

She admits that the agreement did not come easy, considering the differences in each country’s laws and legal processes. And it is not just a problem of Baltic States, it can be found in many intergovernmental projects organized in the European Union.

Rubesa explained that RB Rail will play a central role in the management of the project. The company will manage procurements, ensure the project’s realization and supervise marketing and business activities.

She added that Finland is prepared to become involved in the Rail Baltica project and become a shareholder in RB Rail if Baltic States manage realize the project.

She said Finland is very interested in this project, including the possibility of using this infrastructure to transport cargoes. It is not a matter that can be discussed in a couple of months, but it is possible that talks may be held with Finland in the near future once Baltics have realized the project.

According to her, Finland considers building a railway line to connect with Sweden, which would in turn mean railway connectivity between Scandinavia and Baltics.

Multiple deputies asked questions during the meeting about economic justifications, investments for the national economy, necessary state funding and maintenance costs of the infrastructure after completion.

Rubesa told deputies that there are no concrete answers to those questions at the moment, as it is only planned to finish cost/benefit analysis next year.

At the same time, Rubesa said there is currently sufficient interest for cargo transports using this infrastructure from Finland and Poland. She noted that it is difficult to estimate the potential number of passengers that can be transported using Rail Baltica, considering that this will be the first railway connectivity project of such a scale.


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