Russian President Vladimir Putin, driving a truck, unveiled the auto section of a new road-and-rail bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula on Tuesday, defying Ukraine which said the move showed cynical disregard for worldwide law.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin has opened a vehicle part of the bridge over the Kerch Strait that unites annexed Crimea and Krasnodar Krai as Dozhd reported.
"I congratulate you on this historic holiday", Putin told workers on live television after driving across the span.
Because of blocks imposed by Kiev, in addition to Western sanctions, a large amount of food is now shipped to the peninsula from Russian Federation, so the bridge will play an important role in reducing the region's reliance on sea transport.
The EU restrictive measures, which include visa bans and asset freezes, have now been applied against 150 individuals and 38 entities responsible for encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
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The bridge's construction is hugely controversial, not only because most United Nations countries still recognize Crimea as Ukrainian territory-despite it being under Russian control-but also because it obstructs the waterways that link three other Ukrainian regions to the Black Sea.
Once it opens for traffic on Wednesday, it will be able to carry up to 40,000 cars per day. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called the elections in occupied Crimea is a gross violation of worldwide law and called for increased sanctions pressure on the Kremlin.
The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab.
The railway bridge is not yet finished and has a deadline of the end of 2019.