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SIMFEROPOL, December 27. /TASS/. Ukraine has stopped the railway haulage of cargoes and transportation of passengers to and from Crimea, Anatoly Tsurkin, the Crimean minister of transport told TASS.
“Ukraine has unilaterally stopped the dispatching of international passenger trains to Crimea as of today,” he said, adding that the Ukrainian authorities had not issued any notifications in advance.
“Also, Kiev cut off its system of railway cargo reservations as of 21:00 hours on December 26,” Tsurkin said.
As for the Crimean side, the authorities here did not suspend the dispatching of trains to Ukraine and the sales of tickets for the trains bound for Ukraine continued. “We’re accepting reservations for Kherson, Odessa and Kiev as always. There have been no train cancellations.”
The Director of the Crimean Railway, Andrei Karaulkin, told TASS earlier the residents of Crimea had started cancelling the tickets to Ukraine purchased previously.
“I think that’s misunderstanding of some kind, although people really have to request refunds for their tickets and long queues have formed in ticket offices because of this,” he said.
About ten daily trains have been cruising between Crimea and Ukraine. Along with the cancellation of traffic by the Ukrainian side, train No. 562 that cruises between Crimea and mainland Russia across the Kerch Strait will continue operating.
“We’re ready to add more coaches to it and to arrange more trains if need be so that the passengers could get to Crimea by the ferryboat,” Tsurkin said. “The Crimean government is clearing out the railway problem now and the passengers will be provided with means of transportation.”
On December 26, Ukrzaliznytsya (Ukrainian Railways) state enterprise reported on restrictions “for the purpose of ensuring security” the route leading to the stations of Novoalekseyevka and Kherson.
“The trains departing as of December 27 will terminate at the aforesaid stations,” the report said.
As of December 26, a ban on consigning any cargoes for Crimea and/or receiving cargoes from there was introduced.