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Rubesa has been facing constant opposition from some members of RB Rail supervisory board
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    Rubesa has been facing constant opposition from some members of RB Rail supervisory board

    RIGA, Feb 2 (LETA) - Baiba Rubesa, CEO of RB Rail, the Baltic states’ joint venture overseeing the implementation of Rail Baltica European-gauge railroad project, has been facing constant opposition from some members of the company’s supervisory board and beneficial owners, Rubesa said at a news conference today.

    “Some members of the RB Rail supervisory board take decisions while sitting on two chairs. They are Rail Baltica project’s shareholders, managers and potential suppliers at the same time. I have been constantly facing supervisors’ interference both in the procurement processes and the selection of RB Rail managers,” Rubesa said.

    She indicated that the RB Rail supervisory board has been constantly hampering the management board’s work and not letting it take effective decisions. “I understand that to the RB Rail supervisory board the company’s management board is an inconvenient executive as it has not yielded to the pressure and tried to ensure an effective implementation of the Rail Baltica project,” Rubesa said.

    She declined to name particular members of the RB Rail supervisory board who have been exerting pressure on her, but asked if the opposition had come from the Lithuanian representatives, Rubesa said evasively that “such conclusions might be thoroughly considered”. She noted, however, that the Estonians too wanted Rail Baltica railroad to be built differently than originally agreed among the three Baltic states.

    Rubea said she would stand down as RB Rail CEO only if all three shareholders vote to dismiss her.

    The RB Rail head informed that the RB Rail supervisory board will decide on the shareholders’ vote, which took place on Thursday, February 1, at its March 22 meeting.

    Asked if she is sure of Latvia’s support for her at the upcoming meeting, Rubea said that “nobody can be 100 percent sure of anything”, but that the Latvian side has so far been consistently supporting her work.

    As reported, the Estonian and Lithuanian shareholders in RB Rail voted on Thursday to dismiss Rubesa as the company’s CEO and chairperson of the management board, while Andris Linuzs, the head of Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas (EDzL), the Latvian shareholder in RB Rail, abstained from voting.

    Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers) told LETA that it is up to the RB Rail supervisory board to decide on the company’s CEO, but that the supervisory board did not address the issue at its meeting on Thursday.

    Asked about the decision of the RB Rail shareholders from Lithuania and Estonia, the Latvian minister said that the Lithuanians explained their decision with dissatisfaction with Rubesa’s job performance and a differing vision of the company’s work.

    Asked if a new head will be sought if Rubesa is fired, Augulis said that in such a situation it would be necessary to decide whether RB Rail will be run by its existing three management board members or a new head will be sought.

    Asked if the Latvian representative’s choice to abstain from voting and not to vote against Rubesa’s sacking might mean that the RB Rail CEO is not sufficiently supported by her own country, Augulis categorically denied such a possibility.

    EDzL representatives explained that the supervisory board cannot just dismiss Rubesa by a simple majority of votes, but since RB Rail is a joint venture of three countries, all three countries have to agree on a compromise solution.

    Rubesa was elected to head the RB Rail board in October of 2015. Before taking the post, she has headed Statoil Latvia, worked in Statoil's branch in Azerbaijan and was on the supervisory board of the Latvian bank Citadele.

    RB Rail shareholders include Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai, Eiropas Dzelzcela Linijas and Rail Baltic Estonia.

    • Published: 02.02.2018 14:10
    • LETA
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