Baltic leaders in key talks on major rail project

  • 2013-11-08
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry, RIGA

(From l to r) Prime Minister's Andrus Ansip, Valdis Dombrovskis and Algirdas Butkevičius

A major railroad project spanning  five countries will be built by a Latvian based company, the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States have said.

The company, which has not been decided yet, will be based in Riga and would be a joint venture by all three Baltic states.

The announcement is expected to create jobs for the region.

Prime Ministers Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia, Andrus Ansip of Estonia and Algirdas Butkevičius of Lithuania met in Riga on Nov.8 to discuss co-operation plans in energy and transport infrastructure.

Top of the agenda was the Rail Baltica project which will connect Finland, the Baltic's, Poland and Germany. The project aims to create faster connection times between countries while boosting local economies  

Around 85% of funding for the venture will come from the European Union.  

It's estimated work on the project could be finished in a decade whilst construction is expected to start in a few years.

Meanwhile, It's hoped Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia could sign major association agreements with the European Union at the upcoming Vilnius summit on Nov. 28-29, the Prime Minister's added.

The Baltic Council of Ministers (BCM) is an institution for intergovernmental cooperation between Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The BCM is responsible for ensuring continuous cooperation at the countries’ executive level. BCM members last met on Sept. 2012 in Vilnius.