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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 18.06.2021, 00:24

Lithuanian govt gives green light to signing Rail Baltic agreement

BC, Vilnius, 25.01.2017.Print version
The Lithuanian government on Wednesday approved an agreement between the three Baltic countries on the development of the European standard-gauge railway Rail Baltic, which means that all three Baltic countries are ready to sign it on Jan. 31 in Tallinn, reports LETA/BNS.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis said that there were no longer any disagreements over the project.

"If it is signed, then it will have been agreed on the timeframe, importance and direction, on the Vilnius-Kaunas connection and on the financing," Skvernelis told reporters after the Cabinet's meeting.

According to Masiulis, the Baltic countries will commit to completing the Rail Baltica project by 2025 and having the new railway operational by 2026. "I believe it is a very significant agreement that finally puts all disputes aside and all agree on the project itself," he told reporters.

The Baltic prime ministers are expected to sign the document during their meeting in Tallinn on Jan. 31. The agreement will then have to be approved by the parliaments of the three countries.

The agreement re-affirms the definition of Rail Baltic, the status of RB Rail as the project coordinator, the route of the new rail line and the commitment of the Baltic states to complete the project by 2025 to put the new railway in operation in 2026. The document underlines the importance of the EU funding for implementation of the project and states the intention of the Baltic states to seek further support from the EU funds.

The project is estimated at about 5 bдn euros. The EU may finance up to 85% of the value of the projects implemented at a certain period during the 2014-2020 period.

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