Baltic ministers underscore role of Poland, Finland in implementation of Rail Baltica project

Rail Baltica European-gauge railway project will be of benefit not only to the Baltic states, but also to Poland and Finland, said Baltic ministers at the Rail Baltica Global Forum 2018 held in Tallinn on April 10th, reports LETA/BNS.

Estonian Economics and Communications Minister Kadri Simson said that it is important to cooperate with Finland and Poland during implementation of this project. Rail Baltica, in fact, will create a new transport corridor, while engagement of Poland and Finland will increase the project’s role on the European level, ensuring new multimodal connections in northeastern Europe.

Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) said that the project has matured, becoming a European-level project that will make the Baltic states a part of the European integral infrastructure system. Therefore cooperation is essential. Augulis also said that Rail Baltica will promote mobility.

Lithuanian Transport and Communications Minister Rokas Masiulis also underscored the role of Poland and Finland in implementation of the project because the project will connect all five countries – the three Baltic states, Poland and Finland – and has a large potential.

Masiulis said that trust, good project management and coordination are significant requirements for the project. He also noted that the Rail Baltica infrastructure will initiate different changes – changes in mobility habits, business organization, etc.

Polish Infrastructure and Construction Minister Andrzej Bittel confirmed that Poland is a Rail Baltica partner. At the same time, he noted that security is another important aspect, and it is also important to use latest technologies during the project.

China does not rule out connecting the planned Polar Silk Road with the Rail Baltic railway line from Northern Europe, Baozhi Cheng, a Senior Fellow with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), also said at the Rail Baltica Global Forum 2018 in Tallinn.

Its planned that the Polar Silk Road, which China wants to build across the Arctic, will connect China with Europe.

The Chinese researcher believes that there is a huge potential in connecting the Polar Silk Road with Europe from the North of the continent through Norway and Finland. The Rail Baltica line, in turn, will be playing an important strategic role in ensuring a linkage between North Eastern and Western Europe.

Such a connection from the Arctic to Europe would promote the growth of cargo shipping both in Chine and other countries involved in the project, the Chinese expert said, adding that the availability of high-speed trains in Europe is essential.

Rail Baltica Global Forum 2018 is taking place in Tallinn on April 10-11. The forum will discuss the role of the Rail Baltica project in the North Sea- Baltic TEN-T Corridor, the planned procurements for the Rail Baltica project this year and the questions about future financing of the project.

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