EU's transport chief urges progress with Rail Baltica

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Henrik Hololei, the EU chief transport official, stressed the importance of carrying out the plans and obligations of the three Baltic countries taking part in building the Rail Baltica high-speed railway.

"It is important not to forget that the most important thing is not allocating money, but making sure that construction is launched and brings new quality," Hololei told BNS on Monday, reported LETA.

"Talks between the Baltic countries are always full of challenges, but they still always manage to find a common ground," Hololei said.

He said that now that the money has been allocated and preparations begun, the project must to be carried out.

The European Commission in June allocated €202m for the Rail Baltica project.

According to Hololei, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have the readiness to move forward with the project.

Rail Baltica is a proposed high-speed line to link Helsinki with Berlin through the Baltic capitals by 2024.

The total cost of constructing Rail Baltica is estimated at €3.68 billion according to European Commission figures.

The Latvian stretch of track will cost €1.27 billion. Around 80% of the cost will be paid for by EU co-financing.

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