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Kaunas wants to stay in Rail Baltica loop

  • 2013-12-25
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

In spite of frequent disputes between the promoters and the opposition, Kaunas City Municipality has proved that politicians can reach a common agreement on matters important to the city, it believes. What the noise is about is that all political groups of the City Council addressed the government in a joint resolution urging to retain the already planned Rail Baltica 2 route Warsaw-Kaunas-Riga-Tallinn, reports ELTA.

The resolution was initiated due to last week’s Parliament urging the government to assess an alternative Rail Baltica 2 route and re-direct the European gauge track not through Kaunas, but through Vilnius.

Kaunas politicians hope that the government will apply “common sense” and will not exclude the city from the rail project. The resolution, initiated by United Kaunas and the Liberals' Movement political group, proposes to construct the track according to the original project.

Considering that communication between Kaunas and Vilnius is of high significance for Lithuania, it is also proposed to append the project and to strive for a branch of the European gauge track to be laid between the two cities. The additional proposal originated after the draft resolution was discussed by Kaunas City Council political groups.

"If the railway track is directed away from Kaunas, where the new intermodal terminal is under construction and where the Free Economic Zone is rapidly expanding, not only business development but development plans of the whole region will be ruined," said Povilas Maciulis, head of the United Kaunas political group.

According to Simonas Kairys, head of Liberals' Movement, it is clear even for Brussels that Rail Baltica track has to go through Kaunas. Meanwhile, the initiatives to alter the route are unsubstantiated. The changes could not only impede the region's development and ruin the economy but also prolong the implementation of the project. The politicians are sure that this would bring harm not only to Kaunas, but also to Lithuania.