A document establishing a joint company for the Rail Baltic project was signed in Vilnius today by government ministers from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland.
The countries reached an agreement in July that provided that the three Baltic states would co-found a company tasked with furthering the Rail Baltic initiative, with duties including lobbying and seeking EU finances. Finland and Poland were given the option of joining later, reported uudised.err.ee.
The company's headquarters will be based in Riga and each of the Baltic countries will allocate 650,000 euros annually for administrative costs.
"International transport cooperation projects are voluminous and a lot of work has to be done to reach compromises," said Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts.
"Today we made one step forward, although we must keep in mind that a significantly longer road is still ahead," Parts said.
The partner countries hope to receive 85 percent of the necessary financing for Rail Baltic from the European Union. Rail Baltic is a planned electric, high-speed railroad connecting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with European standard width tracks.