Estonia's EU commissioner Siim Kallas: Europe, unlike Baltics, never questioned Rail Baltica project
Baltic Business News
Friday, July 11, 2014
European transport commissioner Siim Kallas, 65, says in an interview to Äripäev that he is proud of Estonia because Estonia has a good image in Europe as a country that is innovative and makes things happen, but warns that economically, the country must move forward, as otherwise it would run out of steam.
Local councils in Estonia's districts that are to be affected by the new Rail Baltica railway route were introduced to the interim report on strategic assessments of environmental impact and comparative results of various routes, according to the country's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
The three Baltic States reached consensus on the inclusion of Vilnius into the European rail gauge Rail Baltica 2 but it does not yet guarantee that it will be implemented or that European funds will be available for the project. Professor and economist Ramūnas Vilpišauskas says that the current wording implies that the issue is simply postponed until a later date.
Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens is to meet with the Lithuanian energy and economy ministers to discuss the countries' key energy projects and efforts to restrict imports from the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus, and to visit the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
There is a consensus among member countries of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) that the Baltic power grids have to be synchronized with the Western European system via Poland, but details, such as the need for a second LitPol Link, remain to be worked out.
Border guards of Kalvarija, southwestern Lithuania, have detained a Latvian citizen transporting to Western Europe a Syrian father and son who had applied for asylum in Latvia. The driver faces criminal charges, while the Syrian citizens will be sent back to Latvia.
Lithuania's State Security Department (VSD) has warned that Russia's protectionist policies and aims to restrict cargo flows harm Lithuania's transport business and energy and, furthermore, can divide the three Baltic states.
NATO's Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) commander is meeting with commanders of the Air Forces of the Nordic and Baltic states and Poland in Lithuania on Wednesday to discuss the regional security situation, military cooperation and share the latest information about the national air forces.