Passenger rail services between Russia and Ukraine have reduced by 70% in the past three months, the Russian Railways’ Vice President Mikhail Akulov has told journalists, the RIA Novosti news agency reports.
"Minus 70% over the past three months. January-February were normal," Akulov said when asked how much passenger train traffic between Russia and Ukraine has fallen.
According to him, the Russian Railways is meeting the demand for transportation and Ukrainian trains are operating smoothly on all routes to Russia.
According Akulov, the passenger traffic through mainland Ukraine to the Crimea is small. Meanwhile, 72,000 entire tickets for the alternative route to the Crimea (through Anapa, bypassing mainland Ukraine) have already been sold since May. Entire tickets combine rail, ferry, and bus services.
In the new train timetable for 2014/2015 that came into effect in June, the Russian Railways has scheduled nine trains on routes to Ukraine. The train timetable for 2013/2014 provided for operation of 103 trains put together by FPK (a passenger subsidiary of the Russian Railways) on routes to Ukraine, including 45 trains on routes to the Crimea.