Ukraine’s infrastructure minister Volodymyr Omelyan says he supports the complete cessation of railway communication with Russia, but that no trains will be canceled so far.
“I see that a political decision is unlikely to be made, although we support it,” Omelyan said in an interview with Liga.net, when asked whether it is planned to cancel the railway communication with Russia in the near future.
He admits that this destination is in demand but to a lesser extent than before, and the occupancy rate of cars is constantly decreasing.
“Last year, for the first time in the history of Ukraine, the number of trips by rail to the EU countries exceeded the number of trips to the Russian Federation. Therefore, it would be reasonable to decrease the number of trains running to the Russian Federation,” Omelyan said.
As of year-end 2018, passenger flow to Russia fell by 15%, while 16% less travelers used the railway from the Russian side. Last year, minister Omelyan said that Ukraine was considering stopping railway communication with Russia. The termination of the passenger rail link between the two countries is necessary and will be even profitable for Kiev, the minister claimed. In particular, according to him, this decision may serve as an impetus for the development of internal infrastructure.
Omelyan himself has repeatedly said that, according to his calculations, “only bears would go from Ukraine to Russia.” He also noted, there is no sense for Ukrainians to work in “backward, feudal Russia”, and if they cannot find work at home, they should go to the EU.
“Last year, for the first time in the history of Ukraine, the number of rail trips to the EU countries exceeded the number of trips towards the Russian Federation. Therefore, the reduction in the number of trains in the Russian Federation was absolutely objective. It makes no sense to transport air,” Omelyan said.