Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania to sign Rail Baltic agreement on January 31

  • 2017-01-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The agreement of the European-gauge railway project Rail Baltic between Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is to be signed on Jan. 31 in the framework of a meeting of Baltic prime ministers.

Last Friday Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson forwarded to other ministers and the Auditor General a draft order of the government, according to which the Rail Baltic agreement between the three Baltic countries would be approved.

In connection with the intention to sign the agreement on Jan. 31 Simson asks the ministers and Auditor General to send their approvals by Jan. 18 so that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could submit the documents to the government meeting of Jan. 26.

The Rail Baltic agreement the countries is necessary to lay down in a legal document the obligations of states which are necessary for building the railway connection, it is written in the covering letter of the draft order.

In practice, problems have previously occurred with Latvian and Lithuanian partners regarding different interpretations of existing declarations. Besides, several important topics have not been covered in documents signed by countries so far.

An agreement is, therefore, an important precondition for building the Rail Baltic high-speed railway. The aim of the agreement is, among other things, to increase the mutual confidence of Rail Baltic partner states.

After the agreement has been signed, it has to be ratified by the Baltic countries' parliaments.

The agreement regulates the general framework of Rail Baltic -- its route, schedule with preparatory activities, issues regarding the infrastructure's ownership and funding of the construction.