Lithuanian Minister: Rail Baltic’s business model threatens continuity | New

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In its own words, Lithuania has been considering for some time whether it would be rational to pursue the Rail Baltic process independently.

“There is a period when we can improve organizational and managerial sovereignties, but when this so-called improvement threatens the continuity of the project, we have to make it clear whether we are to continue on this path,” Narkevic said at a conference. press release in Vilnius. Thursday.

“With full responsibility I say that for some time now we have been analyzing and making calculations to find out whether independent construction on Lithuanian territory, in accordance with all commitments, would be more rational, faster and ensure that we can implement implement this project by 2026, “said Narkevic.

He assured that such an implementation would not affect the technological integrity of the pan-Baltic project.

According to the minister, Lithuania does not want companies from other states to build infrastructure on its territory, claiming that Lithuanian Railways (Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai), the Lithuanian state railway company, should do so.

But the minister did not say whether the country would consider pulling out of the pan-Baltic company, RB Rail, which is implementing the project.

Latvia and Estonia would like the implementation of Rail Baltic to be more integrated. But Lithuania is resisting and wants to continue to implement the project independently and leave the maintenance of the built infrastructure to Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai.

The Baltic states have been arguing over Rail Baltic’s implementation model for some time. And former RB Rail CEO Baiba Rubesa, who left the company several years ago, also spoke about conflicts of interest within the project.

Under the existing management model of Rail Baltic, the project is only partially centralized as RB Rail coordinates the implementation, studies and cost-benefit analyzes of the project, which is very important for all Baltic States , and he is also responsible for the common standard, electrification and the introduction of traffic management systems.

Taavi Aas: The Rail Baltic project is not in danger

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said nothing in the Lithuanian statement was surprising and confirmed that the Rail Baltic project is not in danger.

“Lithuania has always pursued a policy that it wants to be as independent as possible. This is actually because it very clearly wants its transport infrastructure to be owned solely by Lithuania and operated by a Lithuanian state-owned company. This, in turn, stems from the Kaliningrad problem. Of course, this statement must also show that the elections are approaching right away in Lithuania and that there is no surprise that politicians are making strong statements ahead of the elections, ”Aas told ERR on Friday.

He said the project is still a cross-border project but the countries are organizing the construction themselves. Aas said the only question was how much Lithuania wanted to participate in the umbrella organization, but had heard nothing about the country leaving it.

“It would certainly be easier if the countries cooperated with each other,” Aas said in response to a question whether the project’s eligibility or budget would be affected if Lithuania made its idea a reality, but added that the project is certainly not in danger.

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