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M. Skuodis: Lithuanian transport sector needs to maximise focus on Western markets in the area of transport, Germany is one of the directions

Date

2022 05 09

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Lithuania aims to strengthen cooperation with Germany by improving transport and logistics connections in Central and Eastern Europe. Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis discussed such opportunities with German Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Volker Wissing during his visit in Berlin, Germany, last Friday. During the meeting, the ministers also discussed diversification of cargo transport directions, investments in strategic infrastructure projects, development of transport innovations in the region, and coordinated their positions on EU policy issues.

“Close cooperation between Lithuania and Europe’s largest economy, Germany, is currently crucial for the region. Russia’s war against Ukraine promotes improved road and rail connections with Western markets, further diversification of cargo transport modes and routes from East to West, combining different modes of transport. We are constantly facing new challenges, and we can only respond to them by focused efforts. The development of military mobility links in Europe, the creation of effective logistics channels for Ukrainian cargo exports, a level playing field for European Union carriers – these are the issues we need to pay special attention to,” said M. Skuodis at the meeting in Berlin.

The Port of Klaipėda sustains close relations with the German ports of Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck and Brunsbüttel, which are to be further strengthened and developed. During the meeting, German companies were invited to participate in various projects at the Port of Klaipėda and development of an offshore wind farm.

The meeting focused on the situation in Ukraine, which obliges the Member States of the European Union (EU) to take urgent measures to improve the security situation in the region, in particular by ensuring high-quality infrastructure connections with the EU as a whole. According to M. Skuodis, the Rail Baltica railway line under construction in the Baltic States will ensure even better connections between the Baltic and Central European countries, as well as the ability to travel and transport cargo conveniently, therefore, priority must be given to the rapid implementation of this project and increased funding. 

Lithuania has secured over 73 million euros to finance military mobility projects. These investments will be allocated for the construction of one of the stages of the Via Baltica highway section from Marijampolė to the Polish border, and a railway loading site in Palemonas. Lithuania also expects additional EU funding to continue the construction of Rail Baltica – around 687 million. Minister Skuodis pointed out that Lithuania is already preparing a plan for further military mobility projects. 
At the beginning of this year, a new route for regular international cargo transportation from Kaunas Intermodal Terminal to Duisburg in Germany was launched. The train runs three times a week in both directions, and up to 36 units of semi-trailers and containers with multimodal goods can be transported in one trip. The ministers expressed hope that the railway transport sectors of both countries would find even more opportunities for cooperation in the future and invited German partners to make use of the possibilities to transport cargo via rail to and from the Baltic Region.

It was noted at the meeting of the ministers that Lithuania attaches great importance to Germany’s experience in implementing transport innovations, the country’s significant investments in the development of the electric vehicle industry and the infrastructure for the use of alternative fuels, as well as the railway network. In order to exchange experience and good practices in the region, the International Transport Innovation Forum is planned in Vilnius this autumn.

M. Skuodis was visiting Germany on 5-7 May together with the heads of the Port of Klaipėda, Lithuanian Railways, carrier associations.
 

Fotos provided by German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (Rui Cardoso)