The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to the interpellation concerning the train traffic in Pärnu and Rail Baltica project (No 140), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Inara Luigas, Kadri Simson, Kalev Kallo, Peeter Võsa, Rainer Vakra and Viktor Vassiljev on 20 March.
Parts explained that the Government had initiated, by its order of 12 April, the drafting of the county plans for determining the location of Rail Baltica route corridor in Harju, Rapla and Pärnu counties. For compliance with this order of the Government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been tasked with exercising supervision so that the county plans and respective strategic environmental impact assessments would be ready by 30 November 2015 at the latest. Parts admitted that it is a long term but it is allegedly the best of the possible ones on the basis of today’s knowledge. He added that, on the basis of the order of the Government, the county governors of Harju, Rapla and Pärnu had given their orders for the strategic assessment of the county plan and environmental impacts in those counties. In Parts’s words, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications is currently drafting a detailed terms of reference of the plan with the deadline of 30 May. Also, a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Technical Surveillance Authority and the county governors of Harju, Rapla and Pärnu is being drafted, which will provide the rights and obligations of the parties in the drafting of the plan of the three counties. 30 May is also the deadline for conclusion of the cooperation agreement. Parts explained that the train would definitely have a stop at Pärnu. He referred to the study according to which it had been found that the route through Pärnu would make the profitability of the project more realistic than any other possible Estonian route in the direction of Riga.
According to the Minister’s explanations, a coordination and cooperation which is more thorough than ever in the history of this project has been achieved between the main partner countries, Latvia and Lithuania, at the international level. A coordination unit of Rail Baltica has been established which unites the three Baltic states and Poland and the aim of which is the short and long term coordination of all preparation works relating to the construction of Rail Baltica railway. In Parts’s words, all partner countries have expressed their clear wish to jointly proceed with the preparation works. As a result, in the end, the project has found a new breath of life at the international level.
The Minister pointed out that the aim of the international cooperation was to agree on common principles from which the partner countries would be guided in their planning process and to thereby ensure a common starting position by the end of 2015.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet replied to the interpellation concerning the situation of Estonian investors in Ukraine (No 145), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aivar Riisalu, Deniss Boroditš, Enn Eesmaa, Kalev Kallo, Valeri Korb, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 4 April.
The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to exclude from the agenda for the working week the third reading of the second legislative proceeding of the Act on Amendments to the Universities Act, the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act and Other Acts (89 UA) which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim, scheduled for Thursday. The motion was not supported.
During the open microphone, Kalle Laanet, Mihhail Stalnuhhin and Lembit Kaljuvee took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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