“Ukrzaliznytsia” reduces the number of trains to Moscow and other Russian cities twice as Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan reported on Facebook.
The number of trains #24/23 Odesa-Moscow-Odesa and #20/19 Kharkiv-Moscow-Kharkiv will decrease from February 5. The trains will travel every other day, while earlier the traffic took place daily.
“Ukrzaliznytsia” made such a decision due to the decrease in the passenger traffic between Ukraine and Russia. It reduced by 20% up to 722,900 passengers in 2018 in comparison with 2017.
The direct trains and trailer vehicles to Russia from Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Uzhhorod, and Chernihiv were canceled in 2018.
According to “Ukrzaliznytsia”, the passenger traffic between Ukraine and EU countries significantly increased since summer 2018. The number of passengers aiming for the EU countries exceeded the number of passengers aiming for Russia by 10%.
From August 2018 up to January 2019, 362,900 passengers traveled to the EU and back to Ukraine and 329,400 passengers traveled to Russia and back to Ukraine.
“Ukrzaliznytsia” predicts the increase of the passenger traffic in the European direction. Thus, another 20 pairs of trains in this direction were appointed.
Also, Omelyan claimed he signed a "historical document" concerning the restriction of the traffic with Russia. Transport Ministry of Russia has worked out the parcel of the responsive measure in the case Ukraine cancels the railway and bus traffic with Russia.
In April 2018, Ukraine's MFA head Klimkin stated 3 million Ukrainians live in Russia.