During the 3rd ASEM transport ministers’ meeting in Riga, European Transportation Commissioner Violeta Bulc said that the Rail Baltica high-speed rail project will be allocated 85% of the project’s financing if it meets the conditions set-out by the European Commission, The Baltic Course reports.
The Commissioner explained that the Rail Baltica is one of nine priority European transportation corridors, as the Baltics have yet to be connected to the European transportation network. She added that all of the projects have been submitted for review, and that an assessment from the EC could be expected sometime in July.
Bulc said that there are three-times more projects submitted than what the EC plans to support, thus there will be a serious selection process. However, taking into account all the circumstances, the commissioner said that she is confident that the Rail Baltica project will be granted co-financing from the EC if it meets the project’s conditions.
As reported, the Rail Baltica project deals with construction of a new 1,435 mm standard-gauge railroad in the Baltic countries. The implementation of project could cost EUR 1.27 billion to Latvia and EUR 3.68 billion to the Baltic States altogether.
The European Commission could co-fund 85% of the project’s costs. The request for funding was submitted to the European Commission this past February, so construction of the railroad could begin in 2016. Further funding for the project is to be provided as part of the next financial period that will begin in 2020.