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Kiev pledges to respond to Russia’s unveiling of railroad bridge to Crimea

Russia will launch regular rail services to Crimea across Crimean Bridge in late December 2019

KIEV, November 13. /TASS/. Kiev will respond in kind to the coming opening of a railroad bridge connecting mainland Russia and Crimea, Anton Korinevich, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky's permanent envoy to Crimea whose office is located beyond this geographical district, in Ukraine's Kherson Region, said on Wednesday.

"We will definitely respond to that," he said. "The state occupant has no right to do what it is doing," he added but did not elaborate on Kiev’s retaliatory steps.

Korinevich recalled that entry to Crimea and Sevastopol through other checkpoints, but the official Ukrainian ones located in the Ukraine-controlled Kherson Region, "is unlawful and in breach of Ukraine’s Criminal Code."

Russia will launch regular rail services to Crimea across Crimean Bridge in late December 2019.

Earlier the Grand Service Express company announced that the first train from St. Petersburg to Sevastopol will leave on December 23 and the travel time will be 43.5 hours. On December 24, the first train will depart from Moscow to Simferopol and the travel time will be 33 hours. The train from St. Petersburg will be the first to cross the Crimean Bridge. Ticket price starts from 2,966 rubles ($46.5).

The 19-kilometer Crimean Bridge, the longest one in Russia, links the Taman Peninsula (Russia’s Krasnodar Region) and the Kerch Peninsula (Crimea). It will provide uninterrupted transport link between Crimea and other regions of Russia. It features parallel automobile and railway sections. The automobile part of the bridge was launched in May 2018. Passenger traffic along the railway segment is to open at the end of 2019 while freight traffic — in June 2020.