Putin Opens New Bridge, Defies The World

Putin opens Russian bridge linking it to annexed Crimea as he boasts that he has managed 'what the tsars could not'

Putin opens bridge to Crimea, Russia's first road link with annexed peninsula

Ukraine, which along with most of the worldwide community has not recognised Russia's annexation of Crimea, condemned the project. Throughput of the transition - 40 thousand cars and 47 pairs of trains per day, 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year. Vehicle traffic on the bridge will start on may 16 at 5.30 am.

On Wednesday, the road was open to the public.

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"Then they returned to this (idea) in the 1930s, the 40s, the 50s".

"At last, thanks to your talent, this project, this miracle, has happened", Putin told cheering workers on the Crimean side, according to Reuters.

The construction and installation of the bridge kicked off in February 2016.

She stressed once again that sanctions against Russian Federation related to the annexation of the Crimea will stay in place until the peninsula returns to Ukraine.

ImagePresident Vladimir V. Putin during the inauguration of the bridge
ImagePresident Vladimir V. Putin during the inauguration of the bridge

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.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would consistently defend its positions in worldwide courts despite Russia's attempts to legalize the temporary occupation of the peninsula. Later that year, the US Treasury Department slapped a series of sanctions on seven companies involved in the construction of the bridge.

The US said the bridge was an attempt to solidify Moscow's "unlawful seizure" of the Ukrainian territory.

As one could predict, Washington is not happy with that. Only a handful of Russia's staunchest allies like Venezuela and Syria have recognised Crimea as part of Russian Federation. "We will not ask anyone the permission for the construction of the transport infrastructure in the interests of the citizens of the Russian regions", the message said.

Arkady Rotenberg, a Russian business mogul and Putin's former judo partner, led the project.

He was hit with sanctions by the U.S. for his proximity to Putin and by the European Union for being among those accused of undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity. The bridge's opening was initially planned for December 2018, but construction works were finished ahead of schedule.

The project cost approximately $3.7 billion and will become the longest bridge in Europe, taking over the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal.

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