VILNIUS – On Tuesday, the Lithuanian Parliament with 96 votes in favor and 1 parliamentarian abstaining ratified agreement on development of Rail Baltica Railway Connection that was signed earlier this year in Tallinn by the Baltic Prime Ministers. The Estonian Parliament was the first to ratify the agreement at parliamentary session on June 19, 2017 with 63 votes in favor and 20 against the ratification. The Latvian Parliament followed with a unanimous vote to ratify the agreement on June 22, 2017.
The Rail Baltica deal was signed in Tallinn on Jan. 31 in an effort to make sure that the infrastructure in the territories of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by 2025, with European Union (EU) and national financial assistance envisaged for the purpose.
“Three Baltic states have confirmed their long-term commitment to the Rail Baltica project development by ratifying the intergovernmental agreement in their parliaments. This is a milestone step to demonstrate the Baltic interest in the project implementation, relevant to different stakeholders – general publics of the Baltic countries, potential customers, contractors, industries connected with both construction and railway, and last, but not least important to the EU Commission, our main investor, and Finland and Poland, our partners in Rail Baltica implementation,” says Baiba Rubesa, CEO and Chairperson of the management board of the joint venture RB Rail.
The Rail Baltica Intergovernmental agreement is laying down the principles of the development of the new railway interconnection: the route, deadlines, technical parameters, funding conditions and ownership issues. It was signed on January 31, 2017, by Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, and Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in Tallinn.
The Baltic Course