Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš, 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 between Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš, and Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Managing Director of Russian Railways, took place on Thursday, 26 November. During the meeting, progress of the projects under way was assessed and mutual interest in implementing new initiatives was confirmed.
Māris Kleinbergs, Chairman of the Board at SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš, explained: “Over the past year, SJSC Latvijas Dzelzceļš has been paying a lot of attention to diversifying the company’s target markets and attracting new customers, as well as expanding cooperation with existing partners. At the meeting with the management of Russian Railways, we discussed new cooperation opportunities and ways to address current issues more efficiently.”
“Even though international passenger transport by rail is currently suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, we still discussed the possibility of launching passenger transport on the St. Petersburg – Kaliningrad route via Latvia in the future. Latvijas Dzelzceļš is currently working on issues concerning the coordination of the route, and during the conversation we agreed that work on this project would continue next year,” he continued.
In order to promote the competitiveness of rail transport and thus increase freight volume, Latvijas Dzelzceļš and the management of Russian Railways agreed that it was necessary to develop and implement new projects and to work together on the 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 between Māris Kleinbergs 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. This means that 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 relieve the load on other intensively used corridors and attract more freight,” says Māris Kleinbergs.