Ukraine stops trains to Crimea

Crimean people celebrate being accepted as part of the Russian Federation in Simferopol, the Republic of Crimea, March 18, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of Crimea signed a treaty on Tuesday accepting the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of Russian territory | Xinhua

Crimean people celebrate being accepted as part of the Russian Federation in Simferopol, the Republic of Crimea, March 18, 2014.

Ukraine has stopped cargo and passenger train movements to Crimea, Crimean Railway head Andrei Karakulkin said on Saturday. “All Ukrainian trains have fully stopped traffic since today.”

“This is misunderstanding. People have to return tickets. Queues have formed at railway ticket offices. People are concerned over their families and relatives both in Crimea and Ukraine,” Karakulkin said.

At least ten trains have run daily between Crimea and Ukraine, he said.

“Now the movement of all trains has been stopped. No cargoes have allowed in both directions,” Karakulkin said.

The train N562 continues to run from Crimea through the Strait of Kerch. “We’re ready to add cars. If the need arises, we can increase their number to allow passengers to go to Crimea by ferry. The Russian government and the Crimean leadership are dealing with the problem,” he said.

On December 26, Ukraine said it stopped motor and railway service with Crimea, which joined Russia in March 2014.

“Today motor carriers and owners of bus terminals should stop ticket sales and passenger carriage by routes, which link Ukraine with Crimea,” the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said.

Conventions, which banned carrying any cargoes by railways, also entered into force on December 26.

All-round land, air and sea blockade

Earlier this year, all flights from EU countries to the international airport of Simferopol, the Crimean capital, had been suspended, as well as the visits of the popular Black Sea ferries and cruise ships to Yalta an other Crimean ports. Tourists and visitors entering by road reported waits of as much as two days at the Ukrainian border points.

With a file from TASS

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