Latvia and Estonia to join Via Carpatia highway: infrastructure minister

Photo: PAP/Przemysław Piątkowski

Latvia and Estonia will join the north-south Central European highway project, known as Via Carpatia, Polish Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk said on Tuesday.

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As part of the Three Seas Initiative, the so-called Via Carpatia highway will connect Lithuania’s port of Klaipeda with Thessaloniki in Greece, passing through eastern Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Until now the region’s main trade routes have tended to run from east to west rather than north to south, partly reflecting Germany’s economic dominance - but that is starting to change.

“I believe that both Latvia and Estonia will join the [Via Carpathia] project and that it will be carried out further in the northern direction,” Mr Adamczyk said.

The Via Carpatia road project will also create a chance to set up shipping terminals and logistics centres in Poland.

The Three Seas Initiative is a joint Polish-Croatian project, launched in 2016, with the aim of strengthening trade, infrastructure, energy and political cooperation among countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea.

Another project in the initiative is the North-South Gas Corridor, expected to be completed in two years, which will help send gas supplied from the LNG terminal in Swinoujscie and also from a planned Baltic pipeline through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to a new LNG terminal in Croatia.