Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

The Kerch Strait Bridge will open to cars and public transport on Wednesday, May 16.

"France condemns the construction by Russian Federation of the Kerch Bridge, which deprives Ukraine of full access and the use of its internationally recognized territorial waters", a French foreign ministry spokesperson said.

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.

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its strong protest against the launch of the bridge across the Kerch Strait by Russian Federation in occupied Crimea and once again stressed that the construction of this facility without the consent of Ukraine is unlawful.

Five people involved in organising the March 18 Russian presidential elections in the occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea were put on the European Union's sanctions list on Monday. This was written by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on his page in Facebook on Tuesday, may 15.

The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab.

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Built at a cost of 223 billion roubles ($3.6 billion US), it will be the longest dual-purpose span bridge in Europe.

Putin is known to drive automobiles himself from time to time during working trips about the country.

"Today, both in a practical sense and from a symbolic point of view, is an extremely important day", he added.

The road stretch of the bridge was due to be completed by the end of 2018, but the opening was brought forward at Putin's request.

The bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule, according to Russian state news agencies.

"Let me remind you, on my behalf to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the law of the sea was filed on protecting the sovereign interests of Ukraine, in particular, in connection with the illegal construction of the bridge Kerch", - said Poroshenko.

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