Palo: Lithuania Has Ditched Vilnius RB Demand ({{commentsTotal}})

Urve Palo
Urve Palo Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

After an unofficial meeting of EU transport ministers, Urve Palo, the Estonian minister, said her Lithuanian colleague said Vilnius can be joined to the Rail Baltic project at a later stage, removing the biggest obstacle to moving forward with the Baltic high-speed rail link.

“Lithuania said they still want Vilnius to be connected to Rail Baltic, but will not demand changes to the initial route to include their capital city,” Rasmus Ruuda, an adviser to the Estonian Economic Affairs Ministry told Postimees today, adding that the connection will be constructed later.

The three Baltic nations must now set up a joint venture, which is a precondition for qualifying for EU funding for the multi-billion euro project.

The Lithuanian demand for connecting Vilnius was tabled after a change in government in the southern Baltic nation, causing criticism from other Baltic nations, especially from Juhan Parts, the previous Estonian economy minister.