TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that it is unlikely that the completion of the Rail Baltic railway line by the initial deadline of 2026 is realistic.
Ratas said at the government's press conference on Thursday that as it is a large project, there are therefore many points of concern and dispute. He highlighted by way of example the new budget period of the European Union and stated that there will definitely be disputes regarding funding.
The prime minister also said that more local stops should be added along the railway route in Estonia. "There are too few -- Ulemiste, Rapla and Parnu are not enough," Ratas said.
An audit of the National Audit Office of Estonia indicates that in the case of the Rail Baltic railway project delays have occurred, the cost of the activities exceeds the initial forecasts and the facts identified during the audit indicate that the completion of the project by the deadline is probably not realistic.
The analysis of the National Audit Office indicated that the activities for which Estonia is responsible have exceeded or are about to exceed the deadlines agreed in the funding agreements by more than two years on average, the authority said on Thursday.
Rail Baltic is a double track, European standard 1,435 mm gauge electrified railway for passenger and freight transport to be built from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The overall length of the railway will be 870 kilometers.