Russians will need bridge over Kerch Strait when they abandon Crimea, - Poroshenko
15 May, 2018, 22:43 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
Earlier on Tuesday Putin drove a Kamaz truck at the head of a convoy of construction vehicles along the newly-built bridge after having a quick word with a group of construction workers. "And finally, thanks to your work and your talent, the miracle has happened".
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".
'It's especially cynical that the bridge is opened shortly before the anniversary of the 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars, conducted by the Stalinist regime (May 18, 1944 - 112 International)', he wrote.
The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab.
Many in Russia saw the bridge as a move toward restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.
Built at a cost of 228 billion rubles ($3.7 billion), the new structure, connects the southern Krasnodar region with the Crimean city of Kerch, spanning a strait between the Black and Azov seas. The rail section was due to be completed at the end of 2019.
"Today, both in a practical sense and from a symbolic point of view, is an extremely important day", he added.
The Russian president said on Tuesday he was confident people would love the bridge, which will be open to traffic tomorrow. The bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule.
Russian state television showed Putin dressed in jeans and a casual jacket sit behind the wheel of a construction truck with workers to drive 19 kilometres (12 miles) across the bridge, which links the Taman peninsula in southern Russian to Ukraine'sCrimea peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.
The spokesperson for the European External Action Service said in a statement on Tuesday that the bridge was "another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
"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. Download The for your device.in English and other languages.
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