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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 30.05.2024, 23:54

NATO JFC commander: Rail Baltica will improve military mobility

BC, Vilnius, 25.06.2020.Print version
ail Baltica, a European standard gauge railway that will connect the Baltic countries, will also improve military mobility, General Jorg Vollmer, commander of Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, has said, cites LETA/BNS.

“It is a civil and not a military project but it will be beneficial for both purposes. It will benefit both parties as the project will be favorable for both the economy and military forces,” he said in Vilnius on Thursday.

Vollmer described Rail Baltica as a key Baltic project as regards the improvement of military mobility in the region.

He also called on the countries to go further in adapting their infrastructure for the movement of troops.

The general emphasized the need to adapt railways, roads, airports and seaports for military mobility. He noted, however, that the specific projects should be decided at the national level.

Lithuanian National Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis has also spoken about the importance of Rail Baltica for the movement of troops.

In particular, he stated late in May that the future railway should comply with military equipment movement requirements.

Lithuania also moved to calling tenders for the construction of a Kaunas-Panevezys section of Rail Baltica, a pan-Baltic European standard-gauge railway, which will include the longest railway bridge in the Baltic countries that will be built across the River Neris near Jonava, Central Lithuania.

Lithuania’s state-controlled railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) estimates that the installation of a new railway embankment, engineering structures and connection roads will cost approximately 475 million euros (ex VAT), including more than 67 million euros that will be spent on the construction of a bridge over the River Neris.

“We are now finalizing technical projects related to the section between Kaunas and Lithuania’s border with Poland. Also, we have completed consultations with construction companies as regards tenders,” Karolis Sankovski, head of Lietuvos Gelezinkeliu Infrastruktura (Lithuanian Railway Infrastructure), an LG subsidiary responsible for the Rail Baltica project in Lithuania, said in a press release.

Lithuania had asked for 201 million euros in the European Union’s (EU) support for the project, he said reminding that the country had previously secured 202 million euros in funding from the Union, which would co-finance 85 percent of project costs.

The European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railway for passenger and freight transport is planned to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border by 2026. The overall length of the railway will be 870 kilometers.

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