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Kiev Considers Railway Communication Shut-Off with Moscow

Monday 6 August 2018

KIEV — Ukranian Minister of Infrastructure Vladimir Omelyan declared that his country could can stop the railway communication with Moscow.

The Ukrainian authorities are considering the possibility of ending the railway communication with Moscow. The Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan said on the air of the TV program Breakfast with 1 + 1, answering the questions of viewers: “We are now considering the option of closing the railway communication with Moscow.”

In May 2017 Kommersant reported, citing sources, that this kind of decision is actively lobbied by NSDC Secretary Alexander Turchinov and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andrey Parubiy. Later, the state operator of Ukrainian railways Ukrzaliznytsya denied such plans.

According to Omelyan, such a decision can be made due to the fact that Russia has built a railway branch bypassing Ukraine. “The issue of railway communication with Russia is primarily being considered by Ukrzaliznytsia. I think we will be able to report on the final decision in 2018”, he said.

Millerovo bypass line which removes the need for trains from Moscow to Rostov-na-Donu, Krasnodar and Sochi to transit a short section of Ukrainian territory has been completed a year ago. The new 122•5 km double-track alignment runs between 5 km and 25 km east of the Ukrainian border, rather than alongside or crossing it. The line is electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz, and is suitable for trains running at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.

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