Putin opens controversial 19km bridge to Crimea

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

President Vladimir Putin's handlers had thought of almost everything for the christening of a $4 billion bridge linking Russian Federation to Crimea.

"Russia's construction of the bridge serves as a reminder of Russia's ongoing willingness to flout global law", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, Agence France-Presse reported.

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Ukraine will suffer direct losses from the construction of the Crimean Bridge across the Kerch Strait worth about 19 million dollars a year (500 million Ukrainian hryvnias). The bridge is also commended for having completed its construction six months ahead of the schedule.

Recall, may 15, Russian Federation was officially opened by the Crimean Kerch Strait bridge.

Access to the peninsula from southern Russian Federation had been mainly by ferry. On Tuesday, state television predicted that it would bring many new tourists and lower food prices in Crimea.

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch expressed confidence that the ongoing construction of the bridge over Kerch Strait could vastly interfere with Ukraine's transport connection with worldwide markets.

The United States said the bridge opening was an attempt to solidify Moscow's "unlawful seizure" of the Ukrainian territory. "Let me remind you, on my behalf to the Arbitration Tribunal of the UN Convention on the law of the sea was filed on protecting the sovereign interests of Ukraine, in particular, in connection with the illegal construction of the bridge Kerch", - said Poroshenko.

A auto drives on the Kerch Strait Bridge over on Tuesday, prior to its opening ceremony. When it is ready, it is expected to support the passing of up to 40,000 cars a day and transport an estimated 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year. The construction of the bridge connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland kicked off in February 2016.

The 19-km bridge is the largest in Russian Federation built so far and the cost of the project is estimated at around 228 billion rubles (about 3.6 billion USA dollars). The railway section of the bridge is scheduled to open in late 2019.

EuroNews reported that Ukraine claims the bridge will also prevent large ships from passing through to the country's ports on the Azov Sea.

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