Lithuania will individually apply to the European Commission (EC) for approximately 165 million euros in support for Rail Baltica, the European standard gauge railway project. In addition, it will ask for further 20 to 30 million euros through RB Rail, a joint venture established by the three Baltic countries for this project, transport minister has said.
© DELFI (R.Achmedovo nuotr.)

According to Rimantas Sinkevičius, Latvia would take more in VAT receipts if Lithuania applied for full support through the joint venture headquartered in Riga.

“I don’t see any reasons to worry. If all money went through the joint venture, it would benefit Latvia since the company is established in Riga and VAT in that case would be collected by Latvia. On the other hand, we think that the bulk of works will be carried out through Lietuvos Geležinkeliai and VAT should be collected by our country,” the minister told BNS.

As far as the joint application through the joint venture was concerned, Lithuania would only apply for money for designing the route, he said.

“We will ask for money for designing through the joint venture since we believe that these works should be carried out in concert…,” he said.

In the first project round, Lithuania will apply for co-financing for the construction of a rail section between Rokai and Palemonas, for the acquisition of land for public purposes as well as for partial electrification of the section.

On Thursday, Sinkevičius will meet with his Latvian counterpart, Anrijs Matiss, in Vilnius. In addition to Rail Baltica’s financing, the officials will discuss the European Union’s Fourth Railway Package and other issues.

The countries have until 26 February to apply to the European Commission for co-financing. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will in total apply for some 620 million euros in support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

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