Ukraine intends to resume train traffic to Donbas

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said during the talk show “Freedom of Speech by Savik Shuster” that in the future new Ukrainian government plans to resume railway traffic with areas of the Donbas that currently are not controlled by Kyiv.

Discussing restoration of the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska (to the North of Luhansk), Prystaiko assured that car traffic will be resumed on the bridge in a month and a half. He said, there will be other bridges, new crossing points. "Perhaps there will be a railway link so that people can comfortably move from one side of the demarcation line to the other," he said.

Rail traffic between most of the Donbas and the main part of Ukraine stopped in 2014 due to military actions in the region. Some railways are currently controlled by the authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

The Ukrainian authorities were previously working on resuming train traffic in the territories that are under the control of Kyiv. Their goal was to resume suburban train traffic from Mariupol to Volnovakha and Yuzhnodonbasskaya station.

At a press conference in Kyiv on October 1, President Zelensky said that Ukraine had agreed to the text of the Steinmeier Formula at the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk.

He emphasized that elections could only take place in the occupied Donbas territories if Kyiv is given full control of the parts of the Russian border in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are currently not under its control.

On September 12, Zelensky said that Kyiv would insist on a Normandy Format session in September. He said that the leaders of the four represented countries would discuss the “Steinmeier Formula and all aspects of the Minsk Agreements”.

The formula was proposed by former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He said that the Donbas should be given a “special status” on the day that elections are held in the occupied territories, with the simultaneous withdrawal of illegal armed groups.

  Steinmeier Formula, Kyiv, Ukraine, Donbas