BNS A joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway Rail Baltica could be established in April, the CEO of Rail Baltica Statyba (Rail Baltica Construction), a new subsidiary of the state railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), said on Tuesday.
A joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway Rail Baltica could be established in April, the CEO of Rail Baltica Statyba (Rail Baltica Construction), a new subsidiary of the state railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), said on Tuesday.
“If we agree on a shareholder agreement [for the joint venture]. I believe that the project is noteworthy and I see economic benefits. Perhaps we could set up a joint venture as soon as April,” Dainius Budrys told BNS in an interview.
He added that it was unclear yet when further steps, such as applying for financing and designing, might be taken.
Budrys said that Lithuania was technically ready for the establishment of a joint venture.
“Once agreement is reached, Lithuania could do so as soon as tomorrow. I do not know if our neighbours Latvians and Estonians are ready,” he said.
The Baltic countries failed to set up the joint venture in early January, as expected, due to disagreement over the issue of including Vilnius into the Rail Baltica route.
Estonia’s position is that the Lithuanian capital should be linked to the railway either at a later stage or by using Lithuanian money. Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius say that a line to Vilnius should be financed as part of the Rail Baltica project.
At Estonia’s initiative, the issue of Vilnius will be raised at a meeting of the Baltic prime ministers next week.
Arenijus Jackus, head of the Lithuanian team for joint venture negotiations, has told BNS that the countries will not be able to sign a shareholder agreement until the Vilnius issue is solved at the political level.
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