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Lithuania and Poland sign a memorandum of understanding for joint development of new transport corridors and strategic connections with Ukraine

Date

2022 09 16

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Lithuania and Poland plan to expand their cooperation in the field of transport and logistics even further to develop the transport corridor of the Baltic, Black and Aegean Seas and additional connections, thus improving communication with both Western Europe and Ukraine. This is stipulated in the memorandum signed by the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis and the Minister of Infrastructure of Poland Andrzej Adamczyk today at the Palace of Grand Dukes of Lithuania in Vilnius, during the joint meeting of the Governments of Lithuania and Poland.

“The transport sector – one of the areas of strategic cooperation between Lithuania and Poland – constantly strengthens our relations, and now we can consolidate this with an actual memorandum. The memorandum defines the priorities for the development of European transport corridors important for both countries, the implementation issues of railway connections and the most important infrastructure projects – Rail Baltica, Via Baltica and Carpatia corridors – which we are already successfully working on and will continue a close dialogue on in the near future,” said, Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications.

The memorandum of understanding signed by the ministers stipulates that the North–South transport corridor connecting the Baltic – Black – Aegean Seas is more crucial than ever in today’s geopolitical context. In order to help Ukraine organise alternative transportation routes, a new multimodal corridor must connect Ukraine and the seaports of the Baltic countries both by road and by European standard railway. 

Both countries will also seek to establish conditions for the connection of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route with the Baltic Sea through Poland and Lithuania – the Black Sea–Baltic Sea railway link. The integration of this line into the existing Trans–European Transport Network TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor would allow to improve the railway communication of the entire region and speed up the Ukrainian cargo transportation process.

To improve communication between Lithuania and Poland, as well as to encourage environmentally friendly travel by rail, an agreement has been made on a passenger train connecting Vilnius and Warsaw, which, despite the obstacles, should start running in December of this year. 

Regular passenger rail services are planned to be developed in three stages: 2022–2023 – passenger train journeys on the route Warsaw – Mockava – Kaunas – Vilnius; 2023–2024 – the train would run on the route Warsaw – Kaunas – Vilnius, and after the construction and launch into operation of the high-speed European gauge railway Rail Baltica, the capitals of both countries would be reachable by a direct high-speed train.

Both countries will gradually increase the quality parameters of passenger train service between Vilnius and Warsaw by improving the existing infrastructure and providing the railways with the necessary rolling stock. This will allow to ensure efficient and fast communication between the countries, with the goal that the total duration of a train trip before the implementation of Rail Baltica does not exceed 8 hours. 

Together, Lithuania and Poland will aim to speed up the implementation of the strategically important Rail Baltica project, cooperate in planning, coordination and launching of new passenger rail connections, expand the coverage of passenger railway services between major cities, including the main transport hubs of both countries – international airports and seaports. It is intended to install automatic signalling in the section Lithuanian–Polish border – Kaunas before 2026, and to take the necessary measures to improve the condition of the railway infrastructure in Trakiszki – Sokółka.

The countries also reiterated their aim of improving the conditions of military mobility and additional development of the road transport connection through the Ogrodniki – Lazdijai border crossing point.

The memorandum of cooperation was signed in Vilnius at the Palace of Grand Dukes of Lithuania, during a joint meeting of the Governments of Lithuania and Poland, which was chaired by the Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė and the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki. 

This is the third joint meeting of the Governments of Lithuania and Poland, the first one took place in September 2020.