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Rail Baltica vitally important for Baltic states - Estonian leader

May 28, 2013, 17:01 UTC+3
The project is expected to ensure high-speed railway communication from Helsinki to Warsaw and further on to Berlin
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VILNIUS, May 28 (Itar-Tass) - The implementation of the Rail Baltica project to link the Baltic states with Western Europe should be taken to the level of geopolitical responsibility, Estonian President Thomas Hendrik Ilves said on Tuesday speaking at Lithuania’s parliament.

“It is necessary to consider Rail Baltica not simply as a line on the map. It is a vitally important railway for our region,” he said.

Ilves expressed the hope that the lack of high-speed railway link between the capitals of Lithuania and Estonia with Helsinki as a final destination in the north and with Berlin - in the west will be “only temporary.”

“For the first time we have funds (envisioned in the EU budget for 2014-2020 - Itar-Tass) and the fixed dates. We engage confidence-based cooperation and in the near future we will build a modern railway to Europe, to which we belong,” he said.

He said Estonia had practically completed its part of the project, Lithuania fulfilled 5 percent and Latvia had not started it yet.

Railways of the Baltic states are integrated only eastwards over the lack of a narrow gauge track.

The international project Rail Baltica is expected to ensure high-speed railway communication from Helsinki to Warsaw and further on to Berlin. In the future the railway will run to the Adriatic coast in the south.

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