On 17-18 March 2023, the members of the Baltic Assembly participated in the Session of the Benelux Parliament that was held in the Hague. The main topic of the Session was rail passenger transport.
Vice President of the Baltic Assembly Andrius Kupčinskas shared the experience of the Baltic States regarding the Rail Baltica project but also called for closer cooperation in transport, infrastructure and energy interconnectivity of the Baltic and Benelux countries. He said that the Baltic States after regaining independence have aspired to become independent from Russia in numerous areas, including energy and railway transport. "The Baltic States are working towards building a railway that links all three Baltic States but also Poland, Finland and Europe in general. It is expected to finalize the Rail Baltica project in 2026, and the Baltic States are actively working towards this goal. We want to be more connected with the Benelux countries as well, and already now it is possible to move cargo from Kaunas to Rotterdam by train, but that is just the beginning," said Vice President.
Andrius Kupčinskas also reminded the Benelux colleagues about the situation in Ukraine. "Ukraine also wishes to be connected with Europe by railway. In Ukraine, trains are used not only for passenger movement and cargo, but it is also vital for the safe transportation of refugees, receiving humanitarian aid and much more. Let us not forget to support Ukraine with materials and equipment for rebuilding the destroyed railways. But also, with other kinds of vital support needed for the country’s way to victory over Russia."
During the Session, the Benelux Parliament adopted the statement about Russia’s war against Ukraine. The document considers the statement of 1 February 2023 of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly regarding the Russian war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia and reiterates unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. With the statement, the Benelux Parliament joins the Baltic Assembly in the call to set up a special tribunal to investigate these unlawful and unjust actions and to prosecute all those responsible for Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The Benelux Parliament also underlines that Russia’s actions are dangerously undermining the security of the Baltic and the Nordic States, with whom the Benelux Parliament has structural cooperation.
© Photos by the Benelux Parliament and the Baltic Assembly