Russian rail repairs to cost Latvia 'about' €2 million

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The planned railroad repairs in Russia might result in a loss of a couple of millions of euros to the Latvian state-owned railway company Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railway), said Aivars Straksas, the acting CEO of Latvijas Dzelzcels on Monday.

If the freight traffic from Russia is not stopped completely, the loss to Latvijas Dzelzcels would be a couple of millions of euros which is not a significant amount, considering that the total turnover of the Latvian railway company is 440 million euros, Straksas said on the morning news program of the LNT commercial television on Monday.

If freight turnover was lower in one particular month, the reduction will be offset by a growth in cargo transportation in the following month, he said hopefully.

The railroad repairs announced by Russia will begin in late August or early September and last for about two months. "Now we are more relaxed about the situation. The repairs will be done but without significantly disturbing freight traffic,” Straksas said.

September is an off-season month in cargo transportation and scheduling repairs during that month is not unusual, the acting head of Latvijas Dzelzcels said.      

The Latvian transport industry was concerned by initial reports about Russia ceasing all freight shipments to Latvia by rail, prompting the Russian national railway company, Russian Railways, to issue a press release stating that no restrictions had been imposed on cargo traffic to Latvia and the planned repairs would not be critical for transit cargoes.

The announcement of the repairs came days after former Latvian Railways head Ugis Magonis, a friend of Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin, was arrested as part of a major corruption probe.

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