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Russia Reopens Railway Link With Neighboring Belarus

Rail service was halted for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rail service was halted for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia will resume railway service with Belarus after a months-long halt imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Russian Railways said on February 8 that a Belarusian Railways train will set off toward Moscow later in the day and will reach the Russian capital the next morning.

On February 9, the train will leave Moscow late in the evening and return to Minsk the next day, Russian Railways said in a statement.

The train will make stops in the Russian cities of Smolensk and Vyazma.

The statement added that as of February 9, another train with daily service between Moscow and Russia's Kaliningrad exclave, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, will resume stops in Minsk.

According to Russian Railways, additional tarins connecting Russia and Belarus will be announced at a later date.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed decrees last week on the resumption and increase of rail and air connections with Belarus and three other former Soviet republics.

According to the decrees, the number of flights between Moscow and Minsk will be increased from three to five per week, and weekly flights from Rostov-on-Don and St. Peterburg to Minsk will resume.

The decrees also said that as of February 8, the number of flights from Moscow to Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, will be increased as well from one to three per week.

Mishustin also signed a decree resuming two flights from Moscow to Azerbaijan and four flights from the Russian capital to Armenia per week as of February 15.

Based on reporting by TASS, RIA Novosti and Interfax