Kerch railway bridge causes EU criticism
“The Russian Federation has finalised the construction of the railway section of the Kerch Bridge and is opening railway traffic to the Crimean Peninsula without Ukraine’s consent. This constitutes another violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia” European External Action Service spokesperson statement reads.
“The railway link is yet another step towards a forced integration of the illegally-annexed peninsula with Russia and Crimea´s isolation from Ukraine of which it remains a part.
“Furthermore, the bridge limits the passage of vessels through the Kerch Strait to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea. The European Union expects Russia to ensure unhindered and free passage through the Kerch strait, in accordance with international law.
“The European Union reiterates its full support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. The European Union does not and will not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia.”
It will take around 14 mln to travel over the Crimean Bridge and 13 mln tonnes of goods will be carried, President Vladimir Putin said at the opening ceremony for the railway traffic over the bridge, Russian new agency TASS reports.
“It is planned to carry 14 mln passengers and about 13 mln tonnes of goods in the next year [over the Crimean Bridge],” the head of state said.
The 19-kilometer Crimean Bridge, the longest one in Russia, links the Taman Peninsula (Russia’s Krasnodar Region) and the Kerch Peninsula (Crimea). It will provide uninterrupted transport link between Crimea and other regions of Russia.