RB Rail not to allow recording detailed Rail Baltic meetings

  • 2017-09-18
  • LETA/TBT Staff

TALLINN – RB Rail AS, the joint venture established by the three Baltic countries for the construction of the Rail Baltic high-speed railway, does not allow to record meetings where detailed information about the railway project is shared, therefore a meeting with the activists opposing the railway scheduled to take place on Monday was canceled.

At the meeting which was scheduled to take place on Monday between representatives of the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Rail Baltic Estonia OU, RB Rail Baltic AS, Ernst&Young (EY) who carried out the cost-benefit analysis and NGO Avalikult Rail Balticust (ARB, Openly About Rail Baltic), the latter wanted to start filming right away, chief of communications at RB Rail Ilze Rassa told BNS.

According to Rassa, the company had previously notified the NGO about it being a work meeting. Rassa said that the people who were supposed to take part in the meeting, mainly the representatives of EY, did not wish to be filmed, therefore the meeting was canceled. She added that filming the meeting's participants would violate Latvia's personal data protection laws because private persons and private companies would be filmed.

When asked by BNS whether it would be possible to reschedule the meeting for a later time, Rassa said that she cannot promise that since it might not be possible for the representatives of EY to attend the next such meeting. In addition, it is not possible to record a meeting where EY representatives would discuss the results of the cost-benefit analysis in detail. In the future only a "constructive meeting" which is not filmed would be possible.

The Estonian pro-transparency NGO Avalikult Rail Balticust was supposed to meet with representatives of the RB Rail AS joint venture in Riga on Monday, but the meeting was canceled because the latter did not want the meeting to be recorded.

RB Rail AS is the central coordinator for the Rail Baltic/ Rail Baltica project, which involves the construction of a high speed rail line from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The connection will be an electrified public use rail line enabling speeds of up to 120 kmh for freight trains and up to 240 kmh for passenger trains.

EU support is expected to account for 80-85 percent of the estimated total investment of 5.8 billion euros.