Rail repairs purely coincidental claims Russian Transport Minister

A sudden decision to launch repair works on rail lines between Russia and Latvia had nothing to do with the arrest of Latvian Railways chairman Ugis Magonis, a close friend of Russian Railways boss Vladimir Yakunin, according to Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov.

Such was the version of events related by Latvian Transport Minister Anrijs Matiss Tuesday after a telephone conversation with his counterpart in Moscow.

Matiss had a telephone conversation with Sokolov on Monday, who stated that the surprise decision to repair the track was not politically motivated and that cargo flows would not be substantially affected as a result of the works.

"This was confirmed in a telephone conversation in which he told me that no targeted cargo displacment would be happening," said Matiss.

According to Matiss, repairs will take place gradually, allowing minimal disruption to cargo flows. 

The officials also agreed that in mid-September Matiss would go on a visit to Russia to meet new Russian Railways boss Oleg Belozerov.

They should have plenty in common - Belozerov was actually born in the Latvian port city of Ventspils.

Also coincidentally, long-serving Yakunin was surprisingly ousted within days of Magonis' arrest. 


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