Latvia supports Lithuania’s position in the discussions over the Rail Baltica project, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite’s chief advisor on economy and social policy Nerijus Udrenas said on Tuesday.
Grybauskaite visited Riga last week to meet with Latvian President Andris Berzins. The Latvian president expressed support for Lithuania, which claims that the route of the European railway must include the capital city of Vilnius, Udrenas said in an interview with the Ziniu radijas.
“There was a complete agreement, understanding, that surely all the capital cities should be joined to ensure as large flows of passengers as possible through this modern railway,” said Udrenas. “The Latvians understand us and believe our request to be logical, because the European Union wants to link up all the European capitals with standard-gauge railroads. I would like to remind that Riga was not included in the original version of the project,” said Udrenas, explaining that, by analogy with Latvia, both Kaunas and Vilnius should be included in the Rail Baltica project in Lithuania.
Lithuanian President’s Office maintains the same position as the Ministry of Transport and Communications: Vilnius must be linked toRail Baltica, said Udrenas.”Vilnius is the largest Lithuanian city: at least 20 percent of Lithuanian population, the highest economic activity, the highest purchasing power, therefore linking Vilnius to Rail Baltica would have more sense and feasibility,” said Udrenas.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius hoped that the matter would be discussed at a meeting of the Baltic prime ministers in Tallinn on February 3. The Polish prime minister has also been invited to the meeting.