Start your engines: Putin driving truck, opens newly-built Crimean Bridge

Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

Putin Officially Opens Massive Bridge Linking Crimea To Russia

A vehicle runs down the 19 km road-and-rail Crimean Bridge passing over the Kerch Strait and linking southern Russian Federation to the Crimean peninsula on May 15, 2018, in Kerch, prior to the opening ceremony.

The Russian president attended the symbolic opening ceremony on Tuesday, dressed in jeans and a windbreaker, instead of his usual business suit.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stressed that Ukraine would consistently work to expand national and global sanctions against individuals and legal entities involved in the illegal construction of the Kerch bridge.

"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.

Many in Russia saw the bridge as a move toward restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.

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Built at a cost of 223 billion roubles ($3.60 billion), the bridge is set to be the longest dual-purpose span in Europe. The rail section is expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 15 opened a 19-kilometer bridge across the Kerch Strait connecting the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea with Russia, an ambitious project completed some 75 years after the Nazis first tried to do the same.

The construction is one of Putin's legacy projects, after the massive renovation of the Black Sea city of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2012 opening of the world's longest cable-stayed bridge in the far eastern city of Vladivostok. He was hit with sanctions by the USA for his proximity to Putin and by the European Union for being among those accused of undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The opening of the bridge comes a day before general traffic will be allowed. Download The for your device.in English and other languages.

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