Vanhanen: ferry route needed to eastern Estonia

  • 2004-09-22
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN 's Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, during his trip to Estonia on Tuesday, said that the city of Kotka in Finland was interested in helping launch a ferry route to a port city in eastern Estonia.

Vanhanen, speaking in the town of Rakvere, which he visited together with Prime Minister Juhan Parts, went so far as to say that it was only a matter of time before such a ferry route materialized.

"I have not heard anything about a specific port on this side of the gulf, but my colleague Juhan Parts thinks it could be Sillamae. At present the thing is apparently stuck behind the fact that there is no suitable port for the reception of passengers in Estonia," he told the local Virumaa Teataja paper.

"But it would certainly open up new opportunities, and one does not have to be a particular visionary to see that one day there will certainly be such a ferry link," he added.

Vanhanen said it would be good if the ship could make a stop in Russia, for example on Hogland.

"The opportunity of tax-free trade would certainly increase shipping companies' interest in the new route," he said.

He also said Finland was interesting in the idea of developing a rail-ferry link between Tallinn and Helsinki.

"Finland is very much interested in various connections with Central Europe. Because of our geographic location we are like an island separated from Europe," he said.