Additional EU support granted for implementation of Rail Baltica project in Lithuania
The European Union granted 110.5 million euros from the budget of Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for implementation of the project “Rail Baltica” in all three Baltic states. This amount is equal to 85 percent of the planned value of works (130 million euros), from which the major part of the EU support – 95 million euros – will be provided for financing of the Lithuanian national activities.
Latvian Ministry of Transport and communications says the grant agreement was signed last week by INEA, agency of the European Commission, and joint Baltic venture “RB Rail”.
This money will be used in Lithuania to build the longest railway bridge over the Neris River not far from Jonava. Its length is planned to be even 1700 m, height 40 m. Besides, such activities as preparation of technical documentation for construction of maintenance base of the European railway infrastructure, construction works from Kaunas northward, towards Panevėžys, planning and arrangement of car roads of local significance will also be financed.
According to Mr. Karolis Sankovski, director of Railway Infrastructure Directorate of Lithuanian Railways Ltd., this agreement shows unchanging position of the EU with regard to the project “Rail Baltica”. It remains the underlying EU project that has guaranteed financing.
“This agreement is the outcome of intensive negotiations of the Lithuanian representatives and our colleagues from Latvia and Estonia. We succeeded in achieving the planned intensity of financing that will allow implementing successfully the project “Rail Baltica”,” – said Mr. K. Sankovski after having signed the agreement.
“Rail Baltica” is the most important project in the area of railway infrastructure in the Baltic region that will help to integrate the Baltic States into the European railway network. Five Member States of the European Union are taking part in the project: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland (indirectly).
The total amount of project’s investments in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is calculated to be around 5.788 billion euros. The amount of investments in Lithuania is approx. 2.474 billion euros, 85 percent of which are expected from the EU.
It is planned to complete building the railway of European tracks to Tallinn in 2025, and it should be used from 2026.