The Baltic countries will not miss a deadline to apply for EU funding for Rail Baltica if they set up a joint venture for the European-standard gauge railway project in October, a spokesman for the Lithuanian transport minister said on Thursday.
Rail Baltica construction
© DELFI (R.Achmedovo nuotr.)

"If Estonia is ready and we can establish the joint venture in October, then we should not worry about being late. We will submit our application by the deadline," Ričardas Slapšys told BNS.

The European Commission earlier invited member states to apply with projects to use 11.9 billion euros in EU funding to improve transport connections. Member states have until 26 February 2015 to submit their bids.

Slapšys said that Lithuania was ready for the signing of the shareholders' agreement, adding that Transport Minister Rimantas Sinkevičius planned to discuss this issue with his Estonian counterpart during an informal meeting of EU transport ministers in Milan next week.

Arenijus Jackus, head of the Lithuanian Transport Ministry's Development and International Relations Department, told BNS that in their application, the countries would ask for a concrete amount of funds for Rail Baltica, but gave no details.

"The specialists are still working and calculating. Also, the joint venture will have to add the amounts of all three countries together to determine the total requested amount," he said.

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