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Ceturtdiena 25.05.2017 | Name days: Junora, Anšlavs

EP: if Baltic States fail to find common ground, they might lose Rail Baltica's money

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIf Baltic States fail to find common ground in the matter regarding Rail Baltica project, it is possible that the money funding intended for this project may be pulled from it, warns head of European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee Michael Cramer.

In his interview to 15min.lt, Cramer expressed confusion in relation to Lithuania’s stance and desire to organize work and tenders on its own, not through the joint Baltic company RB rail.

«Everyone should understand that the biggest portion of the funding is allocated by the European Union, and this money is provided under the ‘use it or lose it’ principle. If this money is not used in Baltic States, it will be sent to Germany, Austria or France,» – said the head of the EP committee. «Politicians of all countries should keep this in mind and let go of any illusions. Yes, there are differences among Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. However, it is only possible to realize the project by joining forces. Poland’s involvement in all this is also important.»

According to him, it will only be possible to reach an agreement on the project once Lithuania agrees with it. «Baltic States have to work together. We need a final decision, but there is none. I know there is lack of political decisions that have to be made by the Lithuanian Transport Ministry,» – he said.

Baltic States have been having a tough time deciding on how best to divide VAT for Rail Baltica. Lithuania wants VAT to be diverted to the country where work is done, not Latvia, where RB Rail was founded. In July, ministers of the three Baltic States signed an agreement on the division of the tax. Unfortunately, there is still no certainty about the final finance scheme.

Baltic States also cannot seem to reach an agreement on board members for RB Rail. Lithuania wants each country to be represented with a single board member. RB Rail chairperson Baiba Rubesa, on the other hand, wants to select members for the management board through an open personnel selection process.

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