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France makes trains free for Ukrainian refugees

France will allow Ukrainian refugees to travel free on long-distance trains, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari announced on Monday. “The SNCF will allow Ukrainian refugees to take the train for free,” he said in a video interview with Provence.

“The drama that is hitting Ukraine affects us all. The SNCF group and the railway workers stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian refugees. Like our European counterparts, we will allow them to travel free of charge in France on board the TGV and Intercités, ”confirmed the CEO of the public group, Jean-Pierre Farandou, on Twitter. It is “natural for the SNCF group to participate in solidarity with Ukrainian refugees”, added a spokesperson, specifying that “the modalities are being worked on and will be specified quickly”.

Securing the southern route

Referring to the situation in Ukraine, “it was requested in particular to secure the southern route, which allows for example to reach Moldova, so that those who want to leave Kiev can do so in complete safety”, noted Jean-Baptiste Djebbari. This way would make it possible to leave the Ukrainian capital “for part of the diplomatic staff and for the 500 to 700 French people who are now residents of Kiev”, he added.

As for an airlift, there should be no military operations in Ukrainian airspace, he observed.
An airlift would be possible “as soon as a ceasefire is effective and corridors have been created so that planes can fly in a safe manner”, added the minister.

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