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Wednesday 29.03.2017 | Name days: Agija, Aldonis

Cigane: Rail Baltica is a litmus test for Baltic States

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Monday, 7 March, Saeima European Affairs Committee asked the sides involved in the realization of Rail Baltica project to secure full and constant support for the project’s progress and development, as well as ensure the project’s realization within the established schedule.

In its report, the committee reminds the joint responsibility Baltic States share in Rail Baltica. With that, delays can potentially undermine the project’s completion.

It is also emphasized in the report that Rail Baltica will help enhance mutual solidarity of Baltic States and deepen their integration of their transport infrastructure with that of the rest of the European Union, as reported by Saeima press-service.

«Rail Baltica project is a litmus test for Baltic States, their ability to work together to realize large-scale projects. This project will also help Baltic States to become more integrated with Europe,» – emphasizes the head of European Affairs Committee Lolita Cigane.

Rail Baltica will make it possible to get from Riga to Tallinn in two hours and to Kaunas – within one and a half hours. Passenger trains will be able to run on this railway line at a speed of 240 km/h and cargo trains – at a speed of 120 km/h.

Baiba Rubesa, head of the RB Rail company, mentioned that one of the benefits of this project is that it will be the first company jointly owned by Baltic States. It will also provide valuable experience with the realization of joint procurements. Other benefits include increased employment, reduction of transport accidents and pollution.

Answering questions asked by deputies, Rubesa informed that the constructed infrastructure will be owned by all three Baltic States. Currently there is no agreement in regards to the body that will manage the main functions and procure trains. Nevertheless, there is time to resolve this question. Rubesa also said that some European countries have experience in creating joint companies for certain projects. However, Rail Baltica is the first major projects to be realized by three countries.

During the meeting of the committee, transport expert Talis Linkaits emphasized the importance of Rail Baltica, saying that people in Central Europe have become used to travelling by train and that it is currently relative difficult to reach Baltic States. He also added – statistics show that economic growth is more effective in countries that have well-developed transport infrastructure.

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