Although Russia expects to complete the construction of a new bridge over the river Nemunas by mid-2015, it will stand unused for another couple of years as Russian officials forgot about the necessary border checkpoint facilities, the daily Lietuvos Žinios reported on Saturday.
© DELFI (R.Achmedovo nuotr.)

It is still unclear when construction on the border checkpoint will begin, even though Rosgranitsa, the agency for the development of state border facilities, said back in 2013 that work would start in December 2014.

Arnoldas Tvaronavičius, head of the Lithuanian Border Crossing Infrastructure Directorate, told Lietuvos Žinios that Russians had promised to build the border checkpoint in 2017.

Lithuania plans to upgrade the existing border checkpoint buildings to adapt them for car traffic via the new bridge linking Panemunė, a small town on the Lithuanian side of the border, and Sovetsk, a town in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

"It will be the Rambynas border checkpoint. Construction will begin next year," Tvaronavičius said.

According to the official, it will take between a year and a year and a half to upgrade the facilities. Once they are completed, the bridge and the Panemunė bypass road will not be used for another couple of years or so, until all the necessary work on the Russian side has been completed.

Construction on the new bridge and the Panemunė bypass was launched in the summer of 2013 after securing funding under the Lithuania-Poland-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Program.

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