Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Construction on the bridge to link Crimea with Russia's Krasnodar region began in February 2016.

"At last, thanks to your talent, this project, this miracle, has happened", Putin told the workers.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions and prompting a deterioration in ties with the West.

The opening ceremony drew criticism from the West.

The construction of the Kerch bridge illegally, and Russia's attempts to legitimize the temporary occupation of the Crimean Peninsula - in vain. State Department said the bridge blocks larger ships from reaching the Sea of Azov, Ukraine's territorial waters.

In Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said: "The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for worldwide law".

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"The European Union continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russian Federation and will not recognise this violation of global law", the spokesperson added.

"The European Union continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russian Federation and will not recognize this violation of worldwide law", the European Union stressed. After receiving a briefing from the construction firm - owned by his childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg, who has been subject to USA sanctions - Putin jumped into an orange Kamaz truck with two engineers to lead several dozen trucks across the span.

Now the peninsula is hard to reach from southern Russian Federation with long queues of vehicles often forming to board ferries, which can not always run in winter storms, so the easiest way across is to fly.

The blocks imposed by Kiev and Western sanctions have meant a large amount of food is transported from Russian Federation to Crimea by ship, meaning the bridge will play an important role in reducing the region's reliance on sea transport. Once it opens for traffic on Wednesday, it will be able to carry up to 40,000 cars per day.

The four-lane road bridge is opening ahead of schedule as it was due to be completed in December. A connecting highway from Kerch to the regional capital of Simferopol will only be completed in 2020.

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