President Vladimir Putin has inaugurated the autoway of the newly-built Crimean Bridge. He took the seat at the wheel in the cabin of a Kamaz truck to lead a convoy of 35 vehicles along the 19 km bridge towards the city of Kerch. He invited the CEO of the bridge building company, SGM-Most, Alexander Ostrovsky, into the cabin to join him for the brief journey.
Cameras installed along the route registered the highlights of the historical cortege.
At the other end of the 19-kilometer bridge, in Crimea, Putin will attend a brief open air show.
The Crimean bridge, connecting the Kerch Peninsula (Crimea) with the Taman Peninsula (Krasnodar region), should ensure the uninterrupted transport communication between the Crimea with the mainland of Russia. The bridge begins from the Taman Peninsula, runs along the existing five-kilometer dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait.
In parallel to the motorway on the bridge there is also a railroad, which will become operational in 2019.
It is the second bridge across the Kerch Strait, the first one was constructed during the WWII, and functioned for some year until it was crushed by the ice from Azov see. The constructions of the second bridge learned from the mistakes of predecessors and erected the bridge, using different seabed trajectory.
The Crimean bridge is not a private investment project. “The bridge is entirely financed from the federal budget, in such cases, payment for travel is not provided for in accordance with the law,” said Roman Novikov, acting head of the FPU “Uprdor” Taman.
Therefore, the cost of travel on the Crimean bridge for all modes of transport is zero, the trip lasts around 15 min. “The Crimean bridge became the symbol of unity between Russia and Crimea” – Sergei Aksyonov, the Head of the Republic of Crimea said.
“The Russian Federation has constructed the Kerch Bridge to the Crimean Peninsula without Ukraine’s consent. This constitutes another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia. The construction of the bridge aims at the further forced integration of the illegally-annexed peninsula with Russia and its isolation from Ukraine of which it remains a part. The bridge limits the passage of vessels via the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea” – said European External Actions Service press person is a statement.
“The European Union continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia and will not recognise this violation of international law.”