Lithuania is sticking to its position on the Rail Baltica financing model and will ask the European Commission to provide around 160 million euros in funding directly and 30 million euros more through a joint venture based in Riga. Latvia does not object to that, with its transport minister saying that it is important to show that Lithuania is taking part in the project as a serious partner.
Rimantas Sinkevičius
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

"Our position has not changed. There will be two applicants from the Lithuanian side: the joint venture will apply for around 30 million euros and for the rest application will be handled by Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) on behalf of the Lithuanian state," Lithuanian Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius said at a news conference after meeting with his Latvian counterpart in Vilnius on Thursday.

He said that Lithuania was submitting its application separately because the joint venture would not be able to purchase land for public needs and because the government wanted to keep the value-added tax paid for the work carried out as part of the project.

Rail Baltica will be a European standard-gauge railway running across the Baltic states.

Latvian Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss said that there were several possible ways of obtaining EU funding for Rail Baltica, but it had to be shown that Lithuania was taking part in the joint financing of the project.

"There are different approaches to the financing of the project. Latvia and Estonia put the whole envelope into the application through the joint venture company. (...) Lithuania is participating in this common application with around 30 million euros. For us, it is very important to show that Lithuania is also participating in the project very seriously," he said.

According to the Latvian minister, experts will have to look through the applications to the European Commission to ensure that Lithuania's application is linked to that of the joint venture set up by the three Baltic countries for the project.

"The overall involvement of Lithuania for that particular project will be around 190 million euros. It is important how this could be reflected in the overall project application and we have to prove that. Today and tomorrow, there will be an expert meeting in Vilnius during which our experts will try to somehow link these things together," he said.

The ministers signed a letter to the European Commission in which the countries stated their support for the Rail Baltica project. The letter is also expected to be signed by Estonia's minister.

February 26 is the deadline for submitting the application to the European Commission for co-financing. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will in total apply for some 620 million euros in support under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The European Commission is expected to fund up to 85 percent of the total costs of Rail Baltica, estimated at between 3.7 billion and 5.2 billion euros. It is said that the project will be completed in the next EU funding period after 2020, with actual construction work planned to begin in 2019.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją skelbti, cituoti ar kitaip atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB "BNS" sutikimo neleidžiama.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Justice Minister asks top court about lift ban on Paksas

Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius has asked the Constitutional Court to clarify how to...

Lithuanian anti-trust body says recovering fine from Gazprom is difficult

Lithuania has so far failed to find Gazprom 's assets from which it could recover a 42-million-euro...

Achema turns to CJEU over LNG terminal's maintenance costs

Jonava-based fertilizer producer Achema and gas trade company Achema Gas Trade, both part of the...

Lithuania to give EUR 4.5 mln in solar power plant support to residents

The Lithuanian government plans to allocate 4.5 million euros in financial support to residents who...

Spending on home purchases grows 15,6 pct

Total spending on home purchases in Lithuania rose by 15.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019 from...