Monday, 10 December, 2018

Putin Drives Truck to Open New Russia-Crimea Bridge

Russian EU sanctions five people for organising Russian elections in Crimea
Ellis Copeland | 15 May, 2018, 19:42

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday is set to unveil a 19-km (about 12-mile) bridge linking southern Russia to the Crimean Peninsula annexed from Ukraine, a highly symbolic project he has personally championed.

Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin drove along the Crimean bridge behind the wheel of Kamaz.

The construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov seas started in 2015 following the incorporation of the former Ukrainian republic in 2014 and consequent deterioration of relations between Moscow and Kiev.

Construction on the bridge to link Crimea with Russia's Krasnodar region began in February 2016.

Ukraine has also previously complained that the construction has damaged the environment and that larger ships will be unable to get through to its ports on the Azov Sea.

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Such a bridge was first proposed under the last Czar Nicholas II before World War I broke out, preventing it going ahead.

The Ukrainian side has withdrawn from the treaty with Russian Federation on the construction of the bridge in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

Besides cars and pedestrians, the bridge is created to also accommodate cargo trucks and run a railway line, though both are expected to open later this year or next year.

Ukraine, which along with most of the worldwide community has not recognised Russia's annexation of Crimea, condemned the project which was personally championed by Putin.

Kiev has vehemently opposed the road and rail bridge, and the European Union said it was "another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia". The rail section is expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

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