Occupation authorities of the "DNR" state their intention to launch rail passenger service with Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. This was stated by the "DNR" leader Denis Pushilin, - separatist media write.
"The establishment of direct railway connection with Russia is planned. Direct, meaning non-stop, in particular with Moscow and St. Petersburg. The system is being worked out and, I hope, we will be able to use it in the near future", - he said.
He added that the possibility of running trains to other cities in the Russian Federation is also being considered.
Former Verkhovna Rada deputy Vadym Denysenko believes that such statements by the occupation authorities are a provocation of the Kremlin.
"First of all, it is necessary to understand that this is not Pushilin's initiative, but a provocation planned and approved by the Kremlin. Why a provocation? Because it means that Russia is directly negotiating with "LDNR" at the time when we are taking "seven-mile steps" to the peace. Why is this provocation needed? In order to test the reaction of Kyiv. This reaction can be of three types: keep silent, write a meaningless statement and play its own game, raising the degree and saying that such things disrupt the peace process. Such a position would allow us to regain the status of player in this transaction where everything is already considered to be decided for us. And then, it would be possible to impose your own game in further bidding", - he wrote.
In his opinion, the Kremlin is counting on "complete silence, or, in the worst case, a harmless statement".
"In this case, Moscow rightly believes that the status of Pushilin and Pasechnik in the future negotiation process will be even more consolidated as the status of supposedly independent players. Actually, all this is done precisely to force Zelensky in one form or another to sit down with them at the negotiating table. Our silence only accelerates such a scenario. A scenario where nothing depends on Ukraine", - Denysenko considers.
As previously reported, the occupation authorities of the "DNR" had repeatedly promised to establish rail passenger service with Russia. In particular, the then leader of the "republic" Alexander Zakharchenko stated in November 2017 that "the government plans to launch a train to Russia, as well as a commuter train to Rostov". "There are difficulties in this matter, but we will fight them", - he promised. In August 2018, the so-called "General Director" of the Donetsk Railway State Enterprise Oleg Kalevatykh assured us that "the issue of safety of the movement of our passengers is being agreed upon. A number of other issues related to the Russian Railway are also being agreed. We have rolling stock that is ready to carry passengers. The railway plans to launch the first passenger train to Taganrog".