Russia to start regular rail services bypassing Ukraine in 2017

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A new railroad line, which will replace the one that enters Ukrainian territory, could start operating on a regular basis this year, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said Tuesday.

“This year,” Sokolov told journalists, when asked about the beginning of the railway’s regular operation.

It was reported that the 137 km-long, double-track electrified new railway, connecting the Zhuravka railway station in Russia’s Voronezh region, some 32 km from the Ukraine border, and the town of Millerovo in the Rostov region, avoids passing the border near Ukraine.

The construction of the new railroad aims to increase the safety of travel and cargo transportation, said Sokolov.

In September 2015, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a document on the construction of a railway line to allow Russian trains to bypass the Ukrainian territory on their way to the country’s south.

In December 2016, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that there were plans to build a railway line bypassing Ukraine before September 2017.

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