RIGA - We need to look for ways to connect the railway project Rail Baltica rail line with our ports, Minister of Transport Janis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) said in an interview with LETA.
He pointed out that Rail Baltica is both a great challenge and a great opportunity for Latvian cargo and passenger transportation, but for it to work and for the Latvian economy to benefit, connections are needed. Vitenbergs explained that it is the Salaspils intermodal cargo terminal, where goods to and from the Rail Baltica rail line could be delivered and received from the entire territory of the country.
"There must also be a connection with the port of Riga. At the moment, the costs related to the Rail Baltica track itself are allocated from European Union (EU) funds. However, there is no agreement that connections with infrastructure objects could be financed. It is our task to seek options - be it a public-private partnership or something else - how we could build connections with the ports," said Vitenbergs, adding that it is not possible with the currently available funding, but "we cannot do without these connections".
The Minister of Transport explained that after the completion of the Rail Baltica route, the second round could begin and EU funds could be found.
"The problem, on the other hand, is that would be after a relatively long period of time. We would benefit much more if it were immediate, and we could immediately use all the potential that such a rail line can provide," Vitenbergs emphasized.