Police to probe CEO statements on possible interference in RB Rail activity
The Economic Crime Department of the Latvian State Police has launched a probe into recent statements made by Baiba Rubesa, CEO of the Baltic countries' joint venture RB Rail, regarding interference in the company's activity and shareholders' conflict of interest.
After the probe is complete, the police will decide if there are substantial enough grounds for opening a criminal case, State Police spokesperson Gita Gžibovska said.
As previously reported, the Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders of RB Rail on Feb. 1 expressed no confidence in Rubesa; Latvian representative Andris Linužs, head of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas, abstained from the vote. The matter will be discussed by the company's supervisory board at its next scheduled meeting on March 22.
Following the censure motion, Rubesa said that some supervisory board members have a conflict of interests, citing that they make decisions while simultaneously serving in two positions. "They are Rail Baltic project shareholders, managers and potential suppliers at the same time," she said. "I have been constantly facing supervisors' interference both in the procurement processes as well as in the selection of RB Rail managers."
On Feb. 15, Rubesa said in an interview with Ir magazine that she had not reported interference in her work as the law had thus far not been breached.
Following the censure motion, Rubesa has said that the dispute may jeopardize the funding of the Rail Baltica project. She has also refused to step down as CEO; her term of office is scheduled to conclude this fall.
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.
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, which is estimated to be completed by 2026 at a total cost of around €5.8 billion.
Shareholders in RB Rail AS include Rail Baltic Estonia OÜ, Latvia's SIA Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas and Lithuania's UAB Rail Baltica statyba.
Editor: Aili Vahtla