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Lithuania prepares another package of military mobility interconnection projects and seeks EU funding

Date

2022 05 18

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LG Infrastruktura  - Kena red1.JPG

In order to improve the military mobility connections with Europe, Lithuania has prepared a list of projects and will submit new applications to the European Commission (EC) for the financing of dual-purpose (civil and military) transport infrastructure projects. This opportunity is provided by the second call for proposals for funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) announced by EC on May 12. The Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of National Defence have jointly prepared a list of projects funding for which will be sought with the European Union.

“In today’s tense geopolitical situation, the adaptation of civilian transport infrastructure to military mobility is becoming extremely important. We must responsibly assess the rapid mobility needs of the military and NATO allies. As a matter of priority, we must develop those road, railway, airport and seaport infrastructure projects that would ensure the mobility of strategically important allied forces – to build the Via Baltica section to the Polish border, to reconstruct part of the Vilnius-Klaipėda highway bridges near Kaunas, to tackle the long-pending Jonava bypass, etc.”, said the Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

The joint list of projects of the Ministries of Transport and Communications and National Defence includes further stages of reconstruction of the Via Baltica highway road from Marijampolė to the Polish border, laying of Jonava southeastern bypass, reconstruction of the bridges on the Vilnius-Klaipėda highway, modernization of signalling and related systems of the Rail Baltica railway section between Kaunas and the Lithuanian-Polish border, extension of the Kaunas Airport aircraft apron cover and adaptation to military aircraft. Other road, railway, airport and seaport infrastructure projects are also planned, which will allow to ensure the movement of allied forces across the Lithuanian-Polish border and their distribution to major Lithuanian training areas, as well as to meet other military mobility needs.

“Military mobility remains a priority for our interests in the European Union. We are continuing our ongoing dialogue with the European Union institutions to improve the conditions for infrastructure projects and to make our region a priority in the context of improving military mobility. The security situation and the need to ensure the smoothest and largest possible movement of allies in the Baltic States and Poland must be understood as an unquestionable priority,” said the Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas.

The ministers emphasise that Lithuania is ready to implement many important transport infrastructure projects, so a long-term list of projects to improve military mobility has been drawn up. It includes projects for which funding is requested from the EC not only this year but also under future calls for funding in 2021-2027 period.

On 12 May 2022, the European Commission announced a second call for EU Member States to develop their own military mobility projects. 330 million euros support funds will be allocated for the implementation of these projects EU-wide. Given the current geopolitical situation and the significantly higher needs for dual-purpose transport infrastructure, this amount may be further increased in this call.

Lithuania’s applications for CEF funding for projects to improve dual-purpose military mobility will be submitted for the second time. Lithuania submitted two applications at the beginning of this year under the first EC call. In April, Lithuania has already received 73 million euros from the CEF support funds for its two projects: 60 million euros for Via Baltica and 13.3 million euros for the railway loading bay in Palemonas.

To improve the conditions for military mobility in Europe under the Connecting Europe Facility of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, a total of 1.69 billion euros are to be allocated for EU countries.