The infrastructure of the newly-built Rail Baltica railway in Lithuania must be managed by a state enterprise, the presidential office says.
The management model of Rail Baltica, which is set to connect Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with Poland, has been a subject of tense talks between the Baltic states and the European Commision.
Brussels says the project needs deeper integration as it would ensure greater financial accountability. But Lithuania insists that strategic infrastructure should remain in the hands of the state.
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"Taking into account the Rail Baltica project's strategic role, members of the State defense Council agreed that the new infrastructure under construction should be managed by an enterprise fully owned by the State of Lithuania," the presidential office said in a statement on Monday.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda took part in a meeting of the State Defence Council.
Jaroslav Neverovič, an adviser to Nausėda, said Lithuania has achieved major progress in the implementation of this project and "is not against taking part in decisions that should help Latvia and Estonia implement the project".
Lietuvos Geležinkelių Infrastruktūra, a subsidiary of Lithuania's state-owned railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), is the infrastructure manager of Rail Baltica in Lithuania.
The country’s Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis underlined that the Rail Baltica project is important not only for the transportation of passengers and freight but also for the transportation of military equipment.