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Almost no stopovers authorized to trains running through Ukraine in transit

May 12, 2014, 16:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Passengers may get on and off only at big railway stations - in Kiev, Zhmerinka, Khmelnitsky, Kharkiv, Kazatin

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© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

MOSCOW, May 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Passenger trains running through the territory of Ukraine in transit have been allowed almost no stopovers at Ukrainian railway stations, a source from the Russian Railways company told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

Passengers may get on and off only at big railway stations - in Kiev, Zhmerinka, Khmelnitsky, Kharkiv, Kazatin, the source said, quoting the Ukrainian railway authorities. At all other stations trains running in transit are allowed only "technical stopovers" with no passengers getting in or out and no railway tickets sold to the destinations where only technical stopovers are allowed, the Russian Railways said. The restrictions apply to all trains, including trains bound for Crimea irrespective of a country from where a train starts, the Russian source said.

Kiev has not given any official explanations yet as to whether passengers booked for Crimea need any licenses to cross the border with Crimea. "No documents to this effect have arrived; it is not clear either how passengers can even theoretically get such permissions," the Russian Railways said.

On May 10, a bill on the so-called "temporarily occupied territory" came into force in Ukraine that envisages that visits to Crimea across the territory of Ukraine are authorized by special permissions only.

The bill hits, above all, passenger trains which will have to stop on the approaches to Crimea and run back. Neither in Russia nor in Ukraine any explanations are available as to how railway traffic should be organized and what passengers are to do.

Nonetheless, no incidents of passengers ordered off trains because they have no "licenses" have been reported yet.

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