Ukraine expands the network of paths of separation
In Kiev to discuss the suspension of passenger traffic across the Russian border.
The Ukrainian authorities are preparing to make the next step, separating the country from Russia. As it became known “” from several informed sources in the Ukrainian capital,
from 1 July Kyiv plans to discontinue railway passenger traffic with Russia.
Freight transport was cancelled last week by the decision of the Council of national security and defense Council (NSDC) — together with the introduction of sanctions against legal and physical persons of the Russian Federation, as well as blocking Russian social networks and email services. Although plans to suspend passenger transportation has not yet officially confirmed neither in Kiev nor in Moscow, the Ukrainian interlocutors “” insist that the solution are actively lobbying for the NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the speaker of Parliament Andriy Parubiy, rigid position which in recent years have increasingly supported by the President Petro Poroshenko.
Minus two million passengers
“Ukraine is preparing to discontinue railway passenger communication with Russia roughly from 1 July,” — said the source “b” close to the government of Ukraine. According to him, the pretext for this decision will be the reluctance of “Russian Railways” (RZD) “to stop passenger transportation in Russia from the ATO and, in particular, from Donetsk, which violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” (now from Donetsk in the Russian Taganrog runs the train, and the fare is 17 roubles).
In the state administration of railway transport of Ukraine “Ukrzaliznytsya”, “Kommersant” not confirmed, nor denied the training ban passenger service, limiting the phrase: “No decision on this matter is currently pending.” In the Railways, “y” stated that he had not received from Ukraine any documents on the termination of passenger service to Russia.
However, the words of the interlocutor of “Kommersant” about the impending ban confirmed by the former Deputy Minister of transport of Ukraine Oleksandr Kava. According to him, “Ukrzaliznytsya” has recorded “the decrease in passenger traffic by rail between Ukraine and Russia more than 60% over the last year.” However, even after this significant reduction in passenger traffic has nearly 2 million people a year. In addition, Mr. cava admits: “It is very beneficial for Ukraine transportation, because they are made from the trains of the Ukrainian formation. The price is four times higher than the domestic tariff. And despite the incomplete download of the compositions, this traffic is best to Ukrzaliznytsia”.
Alexander kawa reminds you of the impending termination of passenger traffic was immediately after the introduction by Ukraine of anti-Russian sanctions last week and the termination of freight. According to the interlocutor of “Kommersant”, from the recent decisions affected Russian carriers: “SG-TRANS”, “Neftetransservis”, freight one, Federal freight company “Promtransinvest”, First cargo company in Ukraine “Rail1520 Service”, “agro”, “Aston foods and food ingredients”. They are leaving the country.
Director General, Federal freight company (FGK, a subsidiary of Russian Railways) Alex Teicher announced: the company will complete the withdrawal of wagons from the territory of Ukraine within two weeks. “Complete the flight the carriages, which moved to Ukraine, and those cars that were there, empty, are sent to Russia. After completion of these operations, we will cease activities on the territory of Ukraine”, — says the official. According to him, now Ukraine is about 6 thousand cars of freight on the Ukrainian route accounts for about 5% of the total transportation volume.
Former Deputy Minister of transport of Ukraine Oleksandr Kava said: currently direct trains Russian formation between the two countries does not operate. “The Federal passenger company (“daughter” of Russian Railways.— “Kommersant”), after the events of spring 2014 have been forced to gradually reduce and then completely abolish the transportation of people his compositions,” says the source “b”. According to Mr. Cava, “as a result of cancellation of passenger rail service will benefit the so-called marshrutochniki — private entrepreneurs engaged in road transport in Russia from the border of Ukrainian cities: Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Sumy”.
A gift for the “Belavia”
Another potential beneficiary — the Belarusian airline “Belavia”, to establish air communication with Russia through Minsk after the ban by the Ukrainian authorities for direct flights in October 2015.
According to “Kommersant”, “Belavia” has already started to prepare for the increase in passenger traffic on the route Moscow—Minsk—Kiev, which has become a priority. “Now we are negotiating with the airports, so they can take additional flights,” — said the source “Kommersant” in the airline. Since the beginning of 2017, “Belavia” is already increased ridership by about 30% — about the Agency “Balta” said the Deputy Director General of marketing and foreign economic Affairs Igor Cherginets. According to him, the share of transit passengers at the end of last year, on regular flights of “Belavia” was about 50% and the airline has topped 1 million passengers.
Plans to suspend passenger transportation has not yet officially confirmed neither in Kiev nor in Moscow. However, the Ukrainian interlocutors “” insist that the solution to “actively lobby” the NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy, rigid position which in recent years have increasingly supported by the President Petro Poroshenko.
The Parliament embraced a doubt
Kommersant’s source in the parliamentary factions included in the ruling coalition “National front”, confirmed: “Decisions on sanctions and other harsh measures against Moscow, as a rule, come from our party and from our representatives in government, including Oleksandr Turchynov and Andriy Parubiy”. Thus, according to the Deputy, even among his party, which is considered to be hardliners, there is no consensus on abolition of passenger transport of the Russian Federation: “Some members of our party attempted to persuade the parliamentary Committee not to abandon passenger rail services and not to create problems nearly 2 million Ukrainians working in Russia. As far as I know, their arguments were listened to. The problem, however, that this decision does not need a vote in Parliament. Enough orders, “uz””.
In “Block Poroshenko” (BPP) on the situation with the passenger traffic responded ambiguously. According to the interlocutor “b” in this faction, the largest in the Ukrainian Parliament, “any aggravation of relations with Russia, whether it is off of social networks, the termination of railway communication, or the prospect of introducing visas, raise the President’s rating in the eyes of the Patriotic electorate”. “That is why these topics lately and there are, regardless of their economic feasibility”, — says “Kommersant” the Deputy of Rada from BPP. Expressing the hope that “eventually common sense will prevail and the passenger traffic to drop will not”.
Other opinion the Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management Ruslan Bortnik. “The Ukrainian authorities are going to complete the severance of economic, cultural and human ties with Russia and Russians, because now the trend in demand on the part of society, he says “Kommersant”.— In this situation, financial calculations fade into the background”.
Interlocutors of “Kommersant” in the structures of the Railways of Voronezh and Belgorod regions “not yet mobilized” due to the potential overlap of communication with Ukraine. But “most worrying” the hypothetical possibility of terminating transit traffic from the South of Russia through the territory of Ukraine. “The military has not yet completed the construction of a railway to bypass Ukraine, which is in the South of Voronezh and North of Rostov regions. If you cut off the message there, in the summer there difficult situation with transportation, for example, in Krasnodar Krai and back”, — explained the source “b”. For direct railway communication with Ukraine local railwaymen do not worry, “because in reality it is in 2014”: “Machinists once heavily loaded Belgorod division of the Railways have to travel to other regions just to not forget how to operate equipment.”
Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kyiv, Ukraine; Maksim Yusin, Vsevolod Inyutin, Voronezh