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Estonian prime minister: Rail Baltic agreement not to be put before lawmakers until April

Render of the
Render of the "Water Strider" design for the Rail Baltic station in Pärnu.

The Estonian government will not send the Rail Baltic agreement to the Riigikogu for ratification before the completion of the railway project's feasibility study in April, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said after the Estonian government had given its nod to the agreement on Thursday.

"We will not send this agreement to the Riigikogu automatically for ratification, but rather wait until the conclusive feasibility study is completed," Ratas said at Thursday's government press conference, adding that the feasibility study covering all three countries would be ready in April.

"It is based on this study that the government must make a decision on sending it to the Riigikogu for ratification," he said. "The feasibility study carries great weight and it must be discussed by the government once again then."

Ratas declined to answer when asked whether the government could abandon the plan to build Rail Baltic if the findings of the feasibility study were negative. "I'm quite convinced that most European railways are supported by the state or the public sector," he commented.

"Under no circumstances will the government take the decision concerning Rail Baltic lightly," he added.

At its Cabinet session on Thursday, the Estonian government endorsed concluding the Rail Baltic agreement and authorized the prime minister to sign it on Estonia's behalf.

The prime ministers of all three Baltic countries are scheduled to meet and sign the agreement in Tallinn on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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