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Opening of the first Rail Baltica section

Date

2015 10 16

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Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has met with the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, who is visitting Lithuania on a special occasion of the opening of the first Rail Baltica section Kaunas-Suwalki.

“We are happy to open today, I would say – a historic Rail Baltica European gauge section. It would have not been made possible without the European Commission’s political and financial support. I sincerely thank Commissioner Violeta Bulc for the continuous care and cooperation in implementing the first phase of the project”, said the Prime Minister.

The Head of Government has drawn Commissioner’s attention to the unsatisfactory condition of the railway line from Bialystok, where, in certain sections, train speed may drops to 30 kilometers per hour. The Member of the European Commission has noted the related discussions with the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure, and Commission’s request for Poland to attach higher priority to the Rail Baltica project.

Among other items discussed were the forthcoming Commission’s proposals for road and air transport. The Prime Minister has noted that Lithuania seeks a sustainable, safe, environmentally friendly and efficient air transport development in Europe.

On road transport, the importance of ensuring a single market for goods transport between the European Union countries has been pointed out. “Lithuania opposes the dumping in social disguise restricting possibilities for Lithuania and other Community carriers to operate in the single European market”, said the Prime Minister.

The meeting agenda has also included items on Klaipėda Seaport act and the lease of the state-owned land.  The Head of Government has assured the Commissioner that the decision will rely on the recommendations of the European Commission, and that relevant studies are currently underway, including the best practices of other European ports.

“Lithuania will continue the close interaction with the European institutions with a view to ensuring the competitiveness of the national transport system, also including the implementation of projects of European significance”, said the Head of Government.

Today the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and the European Commissionner Violeta Bulc are going to participate in the ceremony at Kaunas railway station to celebrate the opening of the first European Rail Baltica track section.