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2014.04.29 10:44

Baltic countries reach political agreement on Rail Baltica

BNS | DELFI | The Lithuania Tribune2014.04.29 10:44

 (BNS) Three Baltic countries have reached a political agreement on the establishment of a joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway project Rail Baltica, Lithuanian Deputy Transport Minister Arijandas Šliupas said on Monday.

 (BNS) Three Baltic countries have reached a political agreement on the establishment of a joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway project Rail Baltica, Lithuanian Deputy Transport Minister Arijandas Šliupas said on Monday.

“It has been agreed politically. We will see how it is implemented technically,” he said on LRT Radio after a round of talks in Vilnius.

The partners have agreed in principle that the Lithuanian capital has to be part of Rail Baltica, and when the Lithuanian capital is linked to the railway network will depend on many factors, Šliupas said.

“We have to assess the finances and possibilities. It has to be understood that it is a project for more than one financial framework period. With this in mind, we will look at when work can begin,” he told BNS.

An Estonian Economics and Communications Ministry official told BNS last week that Vilnius could be included into Rail Baltica’s route after Lithuania had carried out a feasibility study.

Šliupas told BNS that this condition had been dropped. “This condition has been removed,” he said.

The Baltic countries last September signed a political declaration stating that the Lithuanian capital was part of the European-gauge railway network. However, the inclusion of Vilnius into the route remained a contentious issue and the joint venture was not established by January of this year, as expected.

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