TALLINN – That money was allocated to Estonia and Latvia under the third call for proposals of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is very good news since that money came at the expense of other member states, Rail Baltic coordinator Kristjan Kaunissaare said on Monday.
"Since in the case of the third call for proposals we are speaking of allocation of money in accordance with the national envelopes, so to speak, for the current period under the regulation of Connecting Europe Facility, that Estonia and Latvia got money from there at all now is extremely positive, no matter how much it was," Kaunissaare told BNS.
"If we recall that the envelopes for Estonia and Latvia had in fact been exhausted by the two first CEF calls for proposals anyway, this means that we received money now that effectively comes from the envelopes of other countries," Kaunissaare said. "Therefore it is excellent news."
This is also why the amount of money going to Lithuania is significantly bigger, as "there was enough money left in the Lithuanian envelope."
"We had been panning to get more money and some of itf we did not receive, which means that some activities will be performed later using money from next rounds," the coordinator said. He added that it's too early to say now what activities these are.
The European Commission made a proposal on Friday to give 110.5 million euros to the Rail Baltic project in the third call for proposals instead of 313.3 million euros sought.
Altogether the Commission proposed to disburse 2.7 billion euros between 152 important transport projects. The 110.5 million euros given to Rail Baltic includes 98.4 million euros for Lithuania, nearly seven million euros for Latvia and 5.2 million for Estonia.
In the two funding rounds so far, the three Baltic states and their joint venture have received CEF co-funding for the construction of the Rail Baltic Railroad worth 765 million euros in total. CEF funding is expected to cover up to 85 percent of the project's total costs, with the financial support amounting to roughly 633 million euros.
RB Rail is a joint venture established by the three Baltic countries in October 2014. The Rail Baltic project seeks to establish a direct railway connection between the Baltic States and the European railway network enabling speeds of up to 240 kilometers per hour for passenger trains and 120 kilometers per hour for freight trains.