"I am glad that Russia has finally completed the tracks bypassing Ukraine’s territory and we no longer have Russian trains going through Ukraine to Russia’s southern regions. I mean both freight and passenger trains," Omelian said on air of Channel 5, Censor.NET reports.
“Secondly, Ukrzaliznytsia concluded a weird agreement with the Russian Federation back in the day. Russia paid only one hryvnia annually for such a transit under this agreement, that is, it made no economic sense at all.
"Thirdly, as for the rail link to the Russian Federation, Ukrzaliznytsya will tackle this issue next year - in 2018 - and I expect for an appropriate decision to be made," he added.
As reported, the Russian state owned railroad operator has routed its long-distance passenger trains around Ukraine’s territory since Dec. 11. The corresponding decision took effect on November 15.
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).