Putin To Open Crimea Mega Bridge Linking Russia

Russian

Russian

Russian President Vladimir Putin drove Kamaz truck across a new, controversial bridge to Crimea without wearing a seat belt - which is against the law in Russia, according to a reporter from The Atlantic. The first to cross the new bridge on specialized equipment will be its builders: specialists from different regions of the country, thanks to which the bridge was handed over six months ahead of schedule.

A view of the new bridge linking Russian Federation and the Crimean peninsula prior to its opening ceremony near Kerch, Crimea, May 15, 2018. On Tuesday, Ukraine blasted Russian Federation for violating worldwide law with the bridge's construction.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman condemned the project, saying it has damaged the environment and that larger ships will not be able to pass through its ports on the Azov Sea. The Crimean Bridge overtakes Lisbon's Vasco da Gama Bridge as the longest in Europe.

The bridge will make the peninsula easier to reach from southern Russian Federation.


Opening the bridge across the Kerch Strait is in fact an attempt to legitimize the annexation of part of Ukraine's sovereign territory against the backdrop of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine and the temporary occupation of the Crimean peninsula, the ministry said.

European Union and USA sanctions have targeted those involved in building the bridge, principally Putin's close ally, businessman Arkady Rotenberg, whose company Stroygazmontazh won the construction contract. During World War II the occupying Nazis also began building a bridge, but abandoned the project.

The road part of the bridge will be opened to the public on Wednesday, while the rail part is yet to be finished.

At the other end of the 19-kilometer bridge, in Crimea, Putin attended a brief open air show.

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