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.

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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.»

Evija Tri­fanova /LETA

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