"I fully support this step. Let them move somewhere other than Ukraine. No consequences are suffered. On the contrary, this reduces the terrorist threat," Omelian said.
He added that Russia had altered the routes of about 60 passenger and 30 freight trains to bypass Ukraine.
As reported, Russian state owned railroad operator has routed its long-distance passenger trains around Ukraine’s territory since Dec. 11.
By order No. 1832 of Sept. 18, 2016, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved the construction of the new Zhuravka-Millerovo railroad section proposed by the Transport Ministry, which will allow trains heading from Russia’s northern and central regions to the south to bypass Ukraine through the Voronezh and Rostov oblasts. The Russian officials said the passengers would avoid crossing the border of neighboring Ukraine due to the newly constructed railroad section.
Former CEO of Ukrzaliznytsia Oleksandr Zavhorodnii said that a railroad track constructed by Russia to bypass Ukraine’s territory would not damage the national railroad operator. According to him, the mentioned railroad section replaced by the Russians goes along the border between the countries and has never been used by Ukrzaliznytsia since 1991.
The intention to build a railroad linking Russia’s northern and central regions with the southern ones without the need to cross Ukrainian border was voiced in March 2014. The construction cost was then estimated at 45-60 billion rubles (about $750,000-$1,000,000).