A new railway line should connect the Baltic States better to the core EU: the Rail Baltica. Officially, the new rail is all about improved logistics and cost-effectiveness. The fact that the route is also intended to serve other purposes is becoming more and more apparent.
The new rail link will promote the movement of goods and passengers between the Baltic States and the Central EU – this was for a long time the official reason of the project initiators for the construction of the route, writes the portal “Swobodnaya pressa”. Because the Rail Baltica is to seamlessly connect to the European rail network: Instead of the wide gauge of 1520 mm, which is common in the region, a track with a track width of 1435 mm is created.
SPUTNIK / IGOR ZAREMBO
The approximately 800 km long rail route is to lead from Poland via Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to Finland. The plan is to complete the new connection by 2026. The construction costs are estimated at six billion euros.
According to the portal alone, the estimated cost can raise doubts about the profitability of the construction project. But the Russian Ambassador in Riga, Yevgeny Lukyanov, has an explanation for why the project seems to cost nothing too high: “The Rail Baltica is a measure to build military infrastructure,” said the ambassador, according to the portal at a press conference in Latvia.
As is known, the track width of railway lines in the Baltic States differs from that of the European. When transporting from the EU to the Baltics, the wheels of the wagons have to be adapted. To transport “tanks for protection against the aggressive Russia”, more time would be needed. But on the new route “the tanks will roll faster,” according to the Russian diplomat.
What used to be disguised as “cost-effectiveness” and “promoting rail traffic” was the story of Rail Baltica CFO Ignas Degutis, who revealed that support for the project has increased in the last two years, Rail Baltica is considered to be “an object of military mobility” in the EU, the manager said at a meeting of project partners in Tallinn, according to the portal.
Just a year ago, a Russian expert said: “The track is being built to increase the speed of rail transport. This speed is needed, above all, if you want to use the route for military transport, “said Dr. Konstantin Sokolov, industrial engineer and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in the Sputnik interview in the spring of 2018.
Another expert opinion on the new railway line: “The West is consistently expanding the military infrastructure in the Baltic States. There is no doubt that the new rail will also be built for military purposes. Rail Baltica is the central element of an infrastructure network for rapid deployment of troops, “said military expert Konstantin Siwkow in the Sputnik interview.
This means that by 2026 a railroad is to be built in the Baltics, on which NATO tanks can then be laid quickly and directly to the Russian border, writes the portal.
Whereby: “The roads in Latvia are not highways like in Germany. If the ‘Leopard’ tanks are delivered here by train, they might get stuck: The streets can not stand the weight, “said Russian Ambassador Lukyanov at the press conference, according to the portal.
Whether the NATO tanks get stuck in Latvia or not – according to the military expert Siwkow anyway, the fate of the Baltic States is decided elsewhere: “Washington is currently considering the possibility of beating Russia in so-called petty wars. These can also be nuclear. The battlefield is mainly the Baltic States. If Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia want to be the scene of a nuclear war, then that’s their choice, “said the analyst.