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Government sends Rail Baltic agreement to Riigikogu for ratification

The three Baltic prime ministers shake hands after signing the Rail Baltic agreement. Jan. 31, 2017.
The three Baltic prime ministers shake hands after signing the Rail Baltic agreement. Jan. 31, 2017. Source: (Ave Tampere/Government Office)

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson on Thursday introduced the results of the Rail Baltic cost-benefit analysis in the government, following which the latter decided to forward the ratification bill of the Rail Baltic agreement to the Riigikogu.

"We decided to sent the Rail Baltic agreement to the Riigikogu for ratification," Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said at the government press conference, adding that Rail Baltic is a good project for the Estonian economy, people and connections.

The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries at the end of January signed the Rail Baltic agreement, which sets out the deadlines, route and several technical details of the new international railway. The agreement must be ratified by the parliaments of all the three countries.

The Rail Baltic agreement determines the general technical parameters and route of the railroad as well as the construction timetable. An intergovernmental agreement is necessary as there are some matters which companies cannot regulate under the Rail Baltic joint venture shareholders' agreement, the Estonian government's press service has previously explained.

The agreement regulates ownership of the future rail infrastructure and the land under it, as well as the conditions of financing the construction. It also provides for ensuring access to Rail Baltic infrastructure and provides general guidelines for the Rail Baltic management to determine the infrastructure operator.

The total cost of the works on Estonian territory is projected to total €1.3 billion, of which Estonia's own contribution is €250 million euros. Up to 85 percent of the Rail Baltic project funding will come from the Connecting Europe Facility.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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