RB Rail CEO says interference «from above» has been in line with the law so far
We have seen interference «from above» in RB Rail’s activities. The law was not breached, however. With that, there was no need to report anything to law enforcement institutions, RB Rail CEO Baiba Rubesa told Ir magazine.
She says it is far more important to resolve matters, not «publicly shout in every direction». Rubesa says she did not turn to the police all this time because the law was never breached. «Nothing has been breached so far, and no one has threatened me with death.» Rubesa admits that there are powers that want to delay the project’s realization. However, such a situation is common for all crossborder projects.
At the same time, she explains that cooperation has been good with both RB Rail council members from Latvia – Edvīns Bērziņš and Vineta Rudzīte. «We sometimes have disagreements, but we are nonetheless able to resolve matters together,» said RB Rail CEO. She adds that there has been no opposition from Transport Ministry’s state secretary Kaspars Ozoliņš. «We can definitely thank Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis, because he backs the company in word and action,» said Rubesa.
RB Rail CEO, whose term ends in October, is certain that if she is dismissed the next head of the company will not be from Latvia. According to her, representatives of other Baltic States have zero interest in having a joint company. «They want 20 people obedient people, not a strong and capable team that would perform all work within five years,» Rubesa said in an interview.
At the same time, she admits she would accept the offer to remain in her post after October. «I want to build an organization that is strong, transparent and able to realize this project in a long-term perspective,» says Rubesa.
On 1 February, Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders of RB Rail voted in favour of dismissing Rubesa. Latvia’s representative abstained in the vote. This decision will be made at the next RB Rail council meeting, which is scheduled for 22 March.
After the meeting, Rubesa told journalists that the company’s management is forced to deal with opposition from certain members of the council and actual beneficiaries. «Certain RB Rail council members sit in two seats. They are simultaneously Rail Baltica shareholders, realizers and potential suppliers. We constantly experience interference from higher ups in procurement processes and personnel selection for the board of RB Rail,» said Rubesa.
She also mentioned that RB Rail council has been a constant obstacle for the board’s decision-making process. «I can understand that for RB Rail council the management board may seem like an unnecessary weight, because members of the board refuse to give in to their pressure and instead do their best to ensure efficient realization of Rail Baltica project,» said Rubesa. She did not mention who exactly among RB Rail council members had exacted pressure on the board. When asked if resistance came from Lithuania’s representatives, Rubesa mentioned that «such conclusions should be considered very carefully. It should be mentioned that Estonia is interested in realizing Rail Baltica project very differently than what has been agreed upon.»