Kučinskis wants to discuss RB Rail CEO matter with Ratas, Skvernelis

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.
Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis intends to meet with Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis to discuss Thursday's no-confidence motion against RB Rail CEO Baiba Rubesa, spokespeople for the Latvian prime minister told BNS.

According to spokesperson Andrejs Vaivars, Kučinskis wants to hear the justification behind the Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders' vote of no-confidence against Rubesa. He was unable to specify, however, when the meeting might take place.

The Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders in RB Rail, the joint venture established to oversee the Rail Baltica railroad project, voted on Thursday to dismiss Rubesa as the company's CEO and chairwoman of the management board; Andris Linužs, head of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, the Latvian shareholder in the joint company, abstained.

Latvian Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis told BNS that it is up to the supervisory board of RB Rail to make a decision regarding the company's CEO, but added that the supervisory board did not address the issue at its meeting on Thursday. Asked about the Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders' decision, he said that the Lithuanian side cited dissatisfaction with Rubesa's job performance and differences in visions concerning the company's work.

Asked whether a new CEO wuld be sought if Rubesa were fired, Augulis said that in such a situation, it would be necessary to decide whether RB Rail would be run by its existing three management board members or whether a new head would be sought instead.

Asked if the Latvian representative's decision to abstain from voting instead of voting against the motion to fire Rubesa might mean that the CEO is not sufficiently supported by her own country, the Latvian minister categorically denied the possibility.

Simple majority not enough to fire Rubesa

Representatives for the Latvian shareholders in RB Rail explained that the supervisory board cannot simply dismiss Rubesa with a simple majority of votes, adding that all three countries would have to agree on a compromise, as RB Rail is a joint venture by three countries.

Rubesa was elected CEO of RB Rail in October of 2015. Prior to accepting the position, she had previously led Statoil Latvia, worked at Statoil's Azerbaijan branch, and was on the supervisory board of the Latvian bank Citadele.

Shareholders in RB Rail AS include Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ, Latvia's SIA Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas and Lithuania's UAB Rail Baltica statyba.

RB Rail AS is the central coordinator for the Rail Baltica project for the construction of a high speed rail line to run from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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