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Māris Kleinbergs and Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways, discuss current cooperation and the possibility of launching passenger transportation on the St. Petersburg – Kaliningrad route

In order to discuss current cooperation and agree on further projects to be jointly implemented, a remote meeting of Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš", and Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railway, took place on Thursday, November 26. During the meeting, progress of the projects under way was assessed, as well as mutual interest in implementation of new initiatives was confirmed.

Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš": “Over the past year, SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš" was paying a lot of attention to diversification of the company’s target markets and attracting new customers, as well as expanding cooperation with the existing partners. At the meeting with the management of Russian Railways, we discussed new cooperation opportunities and ways to address the current issues more efficiently.”

“Even though international passenger transport by rail is currently suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, at the meeting we also discussed the possibility of launching passenger transport on the St. Petersburg - Kaliningrad route via Latvia in future. "Latvijas dzelzceļš" is now working on issues concerning coordination of the route, and during the conversation we agreed that work on this project would continue next year,” says Māris Kleinbergs.

In order to promote competitiveness of rail transport and therefore increase freight volumes, "Latvijas dzelzceļš" and Russian Railways management agreed that it is necessary 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.

In order to deepen cooperation, several high-level meetings of Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board of SJSC "Latvijas dzelzceļš", and representatives of Russian Railways have recently taken place. Possibilities for closer cooperation were also discussed at a remote plenary session of the Coordination Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation in early November, where one of the topics was increasing infrastructure capacity for transport from Asia to Europe.

“This year, LDz joined the North Sea – Baltic Rail Freight Corridor, and at our initiative the corridor has been extended to Belarus and Russia. Therefore the connection through Riga has become an important part of the European freight corridor, providing connections with China. This transit route for shipping freight to Latvian ports and further to Western Europe or Scandinavia could share the load with other intensively used corridors and attract more freight,” says Māris Kleinbergs.