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The President of the Republic met with the Railway Transport Council

President Rüütel met with the Railway Transport Council.President Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg met with top leaders of railway administrations from 17 countries who are participating in the 43rd meeting of the Railway Transport Council in Tallinn.

At the meeting, the President of the Republic emphasised that the cooperation in the field of railway transport gives an additional and valuable dimension to the relations between countries in general. The Head of State said that the infrastructure in Estonia, including ports, with its quality and potential allows to significantly increase volumes of rail haulage from Asian countries with rapidly developing economies to the EU countries, there is also a further growth potential for cooperation in the north-south direction transit in Central and East Europe. Thereat, mutual understanding and close cooperation between railway administrations of Estonia, Russia and Kazakhstan as well as of other countries, plays an important role, President Rüütel said.

Vladimir Jakunin, President of OAO ''Rossiiskie Želežnõje Dorogi'', who headed the delegation of the Railway Transport Council, affirmed that the topic that the Head of Estonian State raised is on the agenda of the Council and is included also into the Council’s long term strategic plans.

Riivo Sinijärv, Deputy Managing Director and a member of the Management Board of AS Eesti Raudtee, gave a brief overview of the activities of the Railway Transport Council, emphasising that the Council operates in the spirit of pragmatism and mutual understanding.

The Railway Transport Council was established in 1992 in order to coordinate rail transport related cooperation and to work out the principles of activity in the countries of former Soviet space that are connected with similar-gauge railway lines (1520 mm). (Gauge width used in Europe, China and USA is 1435 mm). The Council meets twice a year in each member state in turn. Top leaders of railway administrations from 17 countries – besides the CIS countries, also Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Bulgaria on the basis of a special agreement and Finland in the status of an observer, participate in the Council meetings.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 11, 2006

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