On Friday, Lithuanian Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius met members of European Parliament (MEPs) Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Zigmantas Balčytis and Valentinas Mazuronis. During the meeting, the minister presented the progress of implementation and EU funding opportunities for the project Rail Baltica.
Rimantas Sinkevičius
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

It was agreed that Lithuanian members of European Parliament will take notice of the importance of this project in Brussels, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said.

"The project Rail Baltica has a high importance to both Lithuania and the entire Union. We should collaborate in order for this project of international significance to be implemented smoothly and on time. I appeal to Lithuanian members of European Parliament to provide the European Union Institutions the information on the project to the full extent," said Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius.

According to the members of European Parliament, which participated in the meeting, the fact that this European rail infrastructure project is a priority and has to be implemented is confirmed by the European Commission and the possibility of co-funding available under an important financial instrument - CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) cohesion envelope.

In nowadays geopolitical context, the project Rail Baltica represents not only new investments into the region, additional jobs but also the national security. A fortiori, now, we need an efficient European gauge rail link to the rest of the EU transport network.

"This project is among almost 30 other European projects of the high priority. This is an undoubted merit of Lithuania as well, which among all three Baltic States did the most in implementing the project Rail Baltica. The Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania is commendable for the connection to Vilnius," said the member of European Parliament Zigmantas Balčytis.

Rail Baltica is one of the cross-border links under the new TEN-T policy and part of one of the 10 most important TEN-T core network corridors - the North Sea-Baltic core network corridor. The European gauge railway line is expected to connect Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Vilnius and Warsaw with an extension to Berlin.

The first application for CEF Call for proposals is already submitted to the European Commission. Under the CEF program Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, apply for a total of about EUR 620 million of co-funding under the CEF cohesion envelope. Lithuania for transport projects expects the support of around EUR 165 million.

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