Ukrainian prosecutors launch probe over Russian rail services to occupied Crimea
Ukraine prosecutor's office for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has launched criminal proceedings into the fact of illegal border crossing of a passenger train en route from St. Petersburg to the occupied Crimea's Sevastopol.
It is noted that during the pre-trial investigation, a legal assessment will be made of the unlawful actions of officials of the railway carrier, as well as the illegal launch of rail services between the Russian Federation and the Crimean Peninsula.
"Such actions by the occupying state flagrantly violate Ukraine's state sovereignty and territorial integrity, evidencing neglect of generally recognized principles and norms of international law," prosecutors said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, a St.Petersburg-Sevastopol passenger train illegally crossed the Ukrainian border across the illegally constructed Kerch Strait bridge.
It arrived at the Sevastopol train station in the morning of December 25.
On December 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin personally launched railway traffic across the Kerch Strait bridge.
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine expressed strong protest in connection with the uncoordinated visit of the President of the Russian Federation to the occupied Crimea and the opening of rail traffic over the Kerch Strait bridge.
The EU called this another step towards the forced integration of the illegally annexed Crimea with Russia.
In addition, officials in Brussels noted that the bridge limits navigation of ships through the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.
The UN also reacted to the launch of rail traffic across the Kerch Strait bridge, stating that it is necessary to comply with the resolution on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.