VILNIUS - Baltic transport ministers will seek to have the transport projects of key importance for all three Baltic countries 's the Via Baltic highway and the Rail Baltica railroad 's included in the list of national priority projects.
The Baltic ministers, who signed a joint declaration, have asked Poland to include these projects in the 2007-2013 national development projects, the ministers said at a joint news conference on Sept. 8.
"We have adopted two declarations 's concerning the cooperation of Baltic transport ministers in the area of safe traffic and concerning the development of a transport corridor," said Lithuania's Transport Minister Algirdas Butkevicius.
The Baltic transport ministers noted the importance of a timely completion of this significant development project, in particular the adjustment of traffic conditions along the highway. The ministers also emphasized the necessity to speed up the implementation of the Rail Baltica project.
Lithuania aims to complete the restoration and reconstruction of its stretch of Via Baltica by the end of 2006.
The ministers agreed that the Baltic countries would draw up and coordinate the 2007-2013 national implementing measures for both projects by July 1, 2007, considering the results of the Rail Baltica feasibility study initiated by the European Commission and the need for further development of Via Baltica.
"Transit is the backbone of our economy, however, the budget and European Union monetary resources would not suffice for their development. Accordingly, we will attract private funds while building the roads," said Latvian Transport Minister Krisjanis Peters.