19-10-2023

Minister Skuodis to meet Latvian and Estonian Ministers in Riga to discuss the progress of Rail Baltica and launch of new Baltic train

A meeting of Baltic transport ministers will take place in Riga, the capital of Latvia, on 19-20 October. Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, will meet the new Latvian Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens and Estonian Climate Minister Kristens Michals to discuss the progress in the Rail Baltica project, the launch of the Vilnius-Riga-Tallinn passenger train route initiated by Lithuania, and other topical issues on the regional and European agenda.

The Ministers will also discuss Ukraine’s grain export route through Baltic Sea ports and the development of additional transport links with Ukraine, the Free Rail initiative, aimed at strengthening the region’s independence and resilience of its railway systems. Other measures to support Ukraine in the field of transport and logistics and the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) are also on the agenda.

Earlier this year, ministers from the three Baltic states met in Tallinn and agreed on the possibility of launching a passenger train service between Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn before the Rail Baltic is built, which could be opened as early as the beginning of next year. This will be one of the most important issues raised by Lithuania at this ministerial meeting.

The passenger train route linking the Baltic capitals would complement the route from Vilnius to Warsaw and Krakow, which was launched last December.

The entire Rail Baltica project, connecting the Baltic states to Europe, is due to be completed in 2030, while the link between Lithuania and Poland is due for completion in 2028.