Vare: SE Russia-Latvia Transit Corridor Not Panning Out (1)
Transit expert Raivo Vare said at a business forum in Valga that railway transit through southeastern Estonia would not increase in the years ahead.
Railway transit from Russia to Latvia via southeastern Estonia has for years been considered one of the most promising sectors, but even after the completion of the major infrastructure project at Koidula station, the streams of revenue have not been seen, he said.
"I'm not sure that it would be in Estonia's interests to develop this route as Estonia would be more interested in keeping the northern channels going, not for transit to go through southeastern Estonia to Riga," Vare, a former transport minister, said.
"That would mean goods moving by Riga port. The name of the route is Via Hanseatica but its chances have started declining."
The Belarus-Lithuania-Estonia route is used for transit through the southeast, but there the obstacle is the long route through Latvia.
"Belarus's particular edge over the Russian hinterland is that they have no ports and that creates a new situation where it is better to go through Tallinn ports. Latvia's territory has uncompetitive prices," Vare said.