Rail Baltica company to apply for EU funding in October
Sunday, August 24, 2014
RB Rail, a joint venture of the three Baltic countries that will coordinate the European-standard gauge railway project Rail Baltica, should apply to the European Commission for EU funding in October, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said on Saturday.
The Baltic countries will not sign a shareholders' agreement for RB Rail, their joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway project Rail Baltica, in the summer, as expected, because some procedures have not yet been completed, Lithuanian Transport MinisterRimantas Sinkevičius said.
A Rail Baltic project team is meeting today in Vändra municipality to discuss how the tracks of the proposed multilateral rail project will run north of Pärnu. Observers are mildly pessimistic about any outcome being reached.
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.
The prime ministers of the three Baltic states agreed on Friday on additional two weeks for the final agreement on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, adviser to Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis met with his Latvian counterpart on the eve of Baltic prime ministers, expressing hope that the neighboring state would support the agreement on liquefied natural gas, which would pave way for applying for European Union (EU) support for gas infrastructure projects of all three states.
Lithuania's Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis hopes to reach full stop in the Friday's negotiations among the Baltic prime ministers in an effort to ensure European support to the Klaipėda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. In his words, if the discussions end in failure, Lithuania will seek to end the discussions and move on.
Lithuania's Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis is meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Inara Murniece, in the Latvian seaside resort of Jūrmala on Thursday to discuss the positions on the Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP) under construction in Belarus.
The Baltic Film Days will be held in Vilnius for the first time at the end of August – it is a unique event featuring Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian productions on the same week in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, the Lithuanian Film Center said.