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Estonian parlt ratifies Rail Baltic accord

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PHOTO: eskiis

The Estonian parliament on Monday ratified the agreement on the development of the Rail Baltic railway link from Tallinn to the Lithuanian-Polish border.

The bill was supported by 63 MPs and opposed by 20 MPs, while no MPs remained impartial.

An updated Rail Baltic cost-benefit analysis was presented to the government on Apr. 27, after which the government sent the bill to the parliament.

The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries at the end of January signed the Rail Baltic agreement, which sets out the deadlines, the route and several technical details of the new railway interconnection. The agreement has to be ratified by the parliaments of all the three countries.

The Rail Baltic agreement determines the general technical parameters and route of the railroad as well as the construction timetable. An intergovernmental agreement is necessary because there are some matters which companies cannot regulate under the Rail Baltic joint venture shareholders' agreement, the Estonian parliament's press service said.

The accord regulates ownership of the future rail infrastructure and the land under it, as well as the conditions of financing the construction. It also provides for ensuring access to the Rail Baltic infrastructure and gives general guidelines for the Rail Baltic management to determine the infrastructure operator.

The total cost of the works on the Estonian territory is projected at 1.3 billion euros of which Estonia's contribution is 250 million euros. Up to 85 percent of the Rail Baltic project funding will come from the Connecting Europe Facility.

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