A disagreement among the Baltic states is stalling appointments to the board of RB Rail, the joint company which is managing the building of the Rail Baltica railway.
"Rail Baltica"
© DELFI (R. Achmedovo nuotr.)

Lithuanian representatives say that Latvia and Estonia have rescinded an earlier "gentlemen's agreement" that each of the three states would appoint a member to the joint company's board at their own discretion.

"When we were setting up the company, we had a verbal agreement that each country will be able to appoint one person to the board. Now, Estonia and Latvia no longer agrees with this way of appointing the board," Dainius Budrys of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways), the chairman of RB Rail's supervisory board, has told BNS.

The supervisory board will attempt to agree on the rules for appointing members to the company's board in early March.

Budrys says that Lithuania wants to appoint Virgilijus Poderis, CEO of Epso-G, while Latvia and Estonia insist on holding a competition for the post.

"We do not want to hold an additional competition, since we already have a candidate who meets all the requirements," Budrys says, adding that Latvia and Estonia could hold competitions for their appointees if they so wished.

"Unless the three countries reach a consensus, we are facing a stalemate that will require that politicians intervene. We might need to solve the issue at the political level, with decisions by transport vice-ministers or even prime ministers on how to appoint the board," Budrys says.

The board of RB Rail is to consist of four members. Only one member has so far been appointed, the company's Latvian CEO Baiba Rubesa.

Rail Baltica is a joint project of the Baltic States and Poland which seeks to build a European-gauge railway from Helsinki to Warsaw across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Lithuania has recently submitted an application for nearly €197 million in funding from the EU to finance the project.

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