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Latvia and Russia discuss possible Kaliningrad to St. Petersburg rail route via Latvia

Representatives of Latvian and Russian railway companies held discussions November 27 on the possible introduction of rail services linking Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad to St. Petersburg via Latvian territory.

According to information published on the website of Latvijas dzelceļš (Latvian Railway, LDz), chairman Māris Kleinbergs held a remote discussion with and Sergei Pavlov, First Deputy Head of the Russian Railway Company.

Kleinbergs said: “Over the past year, Latvijas dzelzceļš has been paying significant attention to the diversification of the company's target markets and attracting new customers, as well as to expanding cooperation with existing partners. During the meeting with the management of the Russian railway company, we discussed new opportunities for cooperation and ways to address current issues more effectively ”.

"Although international passenger transport by rail is not currently carried out as a result of the virus pandemic, during the conversation we also discussed the possibility of introducing passenger transport on the route St. Petersburg - Kaliningrad in the future, crossing the territory of Latvia. Latvijas dzelzceļš has started work on issues related to the coordination of the route, and during the conversation we agreed that work on this project will continue next year," said Kleinbergs.

"In order to promote the competitiveness of railway transport and thus increase cargo volumes, the management of Latvijas dzelzceļš and Russian railway companies agreed that it is necessary both to develop and implement new projects and to work together on simplification of regulatory procedures. Given the growing trend towards more environmentally friendly modes of transport, this would be an essential precondition for the transfer of goods from road to rail," the company said.

Several high-level meetings have taken place between Latvijas dzelzceļš and representatives of the Russian Railways recently. The possibilities of closer mutual cooperation were also discussed at a remote plenary session of the Trans-Siberian Transport Coordination Council held at the beginning of November.

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