Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

WATCH Opening Ceremony of Crimean Bridge in Russian Federation

WATCH Opening Ceremony of Crimean Bridge in Russian Federation

In Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko slammed Putin's actions. "Particularly cynical is the fact that its discovery comes on the eve of the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people by the Stalinist regime", - wrote Poroshenko.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea, a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in eastern Europe, in 2014, a move that was condemned by Ukraine and the West as an illegal land grab.

"Such actions by Moscow fundamentally contradict the generally recognized norms and principles of global law, grossly violate the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and bilateral treaty obligations to Ukraine", the ministry said in a statement on May 15 when Russian Federation officially opened the bridge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 15 opened a 19-kilometer bridge across the Kerch Strait connecting the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea with Russia, an ambitious project completed some 75 years after the Nazis first tried to do the same. Many in Russia saw the move as restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.

Built at a cost of 223 billion roubles ($3.60 billion), the bridge is set to be the longest dual-purpose span in Europe. It begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a five-kilometre dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast. "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

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

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

The motorway section of the bridge has over 60 road signs and ten automatic systems monitoring compliance with traffic regulations. Construction of the bridge, which can carry up to 40,000 cars a day, started in 2016. The railway section of the bridge is scheduled to open in late 2019.

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