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Russian Railways Suspends Service To Ukraine, Other Neighbors

Russia's state railway company says it will stop almost all service to Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan for a year starting December 14, citing a lack of demand.

In a statement on its website on December 9, Russian Railways said its Federal Passenger Company unit is suspending the service because it is not profitable.

It said "the decision to suspend some trains' operations had been caused by a significant decrease in the volume of international rail travel, which led to the ineffective use of engines and trains."

Russia is deeply at odds with Ukraine over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and an armed conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

But Russia is trying to strengthen ties with other ex-Soviet republics including Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, its partner in a Customs Union.

Kazakhstan's state railway company says its 10 trains linking Kazakh cities with Russia will continue to run.

Tajik Railways Company said its trains to Russia will also continue to operate.

Russian Railways will continue to operate trains to Moldova, Belarus, and northern Kazakhstan as well as two trains to Uzbekistan, which go through Kazakhstan.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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