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December 11, 2014

Russia suspends rail services to CIS countries

Russian Railways has suspended its train services to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan for a period of one year starting from 14 December.

By Samseer M

Russian Railways has suspended its train services to Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan for a period of one year starting from 14 December.

The Federal Passenger Company, a unit of Russian Railways, has said that this decision was taken due to unprofitable services.

A statement from the Russian Railways read: "The decision to cancel trains is due to a significant reduction in the volume of international traffic, which leads to inefficient use of rolling stock and locomotives."

"The decision to cancel trains is due to a significant reduction in the volume of international traffic, which leads to inefficient use of rolling stock and locomotives."

However, Russia will continue its train services to Moldova, Belarus, and northern Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

A Federal Passenger Company spokesperson was quoted by Itar-TASS as saying: "Nonetheless, a loophole in the train schedule has remained. A train service might be appointed if necessary to a destination taken off winter train schedule."

This decision to cancel services to some CIS states comes during the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine over the annexation of Crimea and following conflicts between the two governments.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Railways has said that it will continue the services into Russia despite the announcement from Russian Railways.

An Ukrzaliznytsia spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Ukrzaliznytsia will continue rail service in winter the way it does now."

A total of 19 trains currently run services from Ukraine to the Russian territory.

RFERL has reported that the Kazakhstan’s state railway company and Tajik Railways Company will continue its services to Russia.

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