Putin Drives Truck to Open New Russia-Crimea Bridge

Putin Drives Truck to Open New Russia-Crimea Bridge

About 10,000 workers participated in the work, a figure that at peak moments of the construction works reached the 15,000, while some 220 national companies contributed to the so-called work of the century, said the president visibly moved.

Putin thanked the organizers of the project, who put the interests of the state over those of particular groups, the sappers, ecologists, scientists and other sectors involved. Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine posted this on Facebook.

"The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for worldwide law", Poroshenko said.

'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.

A view of the new bridge linking Russian Federation and the Crimean peninsula prior to its opening ceremony near Kerch, Crimea, May 15, 2018.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

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

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Ukraine has condemned the project, saying construction has damaged the environment and that larger ships will be unable to get through to its ports on the Azov Sea.

The spokesperson of the European External Action Service said in a statement on Tuesday the bridge was "another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

"The European Union continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russian Federation and will not recognise this violation of global law", the spokesperson added.

The construction of the bridge began in May 2015.

Built at a cost of 223 billion roubles ($3.6 billion), the bridge will be the longest dual-purpose span in Europe. Up to 40,000 cars a day may cross the bridge travelling at a speed of up to 120 km per hour.

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

The 4-lane road bridge is opening ahead of schedule as it was due to be completed in December.

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