We’ll have to use Soviet trains: EU refuses to finance Latvia’s replacement of diesel trains with Russian engines

Being fully dependent on the EU subsidy, “poor, but proud” Latvia will use old trains at least until 2026

According to Sputnik Near Abroad, Communications Minister Talis Linkaits has instructed Pasažieru vilciens to develop a new concept for replacing diesel trains.

“Earlier, Pasažieru vilciens stopped the procurement of eight new diesel trains announced last May. The project was discontinued because the European Commission bodies did not support the reallocation of funding for the “Modernisation of Passenger Diesel Train Rolling Stock” project, and no funding was allocated from the state budget for the purchase”, –  Sputnik reported.

The minister said that a number of options are being considered to replace diesel trains, only that Riga has no money for them.

“The most suitable for the movement in Latvian regions are bimodal trains, which can operate both on electric traction on electrified lines, and on alternative fuels. On routes with fewer passengers and shorter distances, battery-powered trains can be used, such as in the Riga region”, – Linkeits said.

As a matter of fact, all the fuss has erupted because the trains at the Latvian company’s disposal are equipped with engines made by Russia’s Zvezda plant.
The same Zvezda JSC from St Petersburg, where diesel engines for DR1A trains are made, and which was put on the sanctions list in March 2019.

Latvia, like the venerable non-commissioned officer’s widow, has thus whipped itself. And it would seem, what easier, lift the illegal sanctions and buy new engines. But the senior comrades from Brussels and Washington don’t say so, and they don’t want to give money for new trains either.

Such is the fate of all limitrophs. And it is not the last example of how the Baltic republics in their pro-Western servility destroy their own economy. As the saying goes, what they fought for.


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