Tag Archives: Crimean bridge

Ukrainian servicemen charged with violating Russian border

Ukrainian military servicemen and Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) officers detained in the Kerch Strait have been charged with violating Russia’s border, Nikolai Polozov, the lawyer of one of the detained, told TASS.

“Charges were brought right after their arrest. All of them are charged with violating the Russian border under Article 322.3 of the Russian Criminal Code,” the lawyer said. According to Polozov, he hasn’t met with his client Denis Gritsenko since the latter was arrested.

I haven’t met with my client yet, I don’t know whether any documents have been sent to Moscow and who is conducting the investigation,” the lawyer added.

 

EU targets Crimea bridge constructors

The Council added six entities to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are listed because of their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula. Through their actions they supported the consolidation of Russia’s control over the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

The measures consist of an asset freeze, meaning that all of the assets in the EU belonging to these entities are frozen and EU persons and entities cannot make any funds available to them.

The decision brings the total number of entities listed by the EU to 44. In addition, the EU imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on 155 individuals under this sanctions regime.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons concerned, are available in the EU Official Journal of 31 July 2018. They were adopted by the Council by written procedure.

Other EU measures in place in response to the Ukraine crisis include: economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2019; restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2019.

“We consider deplorable the EU Council decision of 30 July 2018 on expanding EU illegitimate unilateral restrictions to a range of Russian companies involved in the construction of the Kerch Bridge” – says the comment of Russian Foreign Ministry (MFA).

“Obviously the free choice made by Crimeans to reunite with Russia is haunting the European Union. Is there any alternative explanation of the fact that since 2016 the EU sanctions list has been widening by adding almost exclusively Russian citizens and organisations that are in one way or another involved in successful democratic development of Crimea and Sevastopol within the Russian Federation?”- the statement continues.

“…We hope that the European Union will at last consider the financial and image costs of indulging anti-Russian whims of Kiev authorities. Interests of many companies from the EU Member States operating in Russia, including in the construction business, may suffer from another sanctions round. We assume that common interests of Russia and EU countries would be best served by pragmatic and mutually beneficial work based on sober recognition of existing realities” – Russian MFA statement concludes.

Norway joins EU measures against Russia over Crimea

In a declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alignment of certain countries concerning restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, Federica Mogherini welcomed the decision of Montenegro, Albania, Norway, Ukraine and Georgia.

The Council extends the existing restrictive measures until 23 June 2019.

The Candidate Countries Montenegro and Albania, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.

They will ensure that their national policies conform to this Council Decision.

The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it.

Recently at Helsinki Summit President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Crimea joined Russia as a result of a democratic referendum.

“People in Crimea went to a referendum and voted for joining Russia. If this is annexation, what is democracy then?” Putin raised a rhetorical question. “We are aware of president Trump’s posture, that… Crimea is part of Ukraine,” Putin said. “He told me this today. I responded with the words pretty much similar to what I’ve said to you, and I think we should leave the discussion at that.”

Citizens of Crimean Republic votes to join Russian Federation in the aftermath of dramatic events of Euromaidan Revolution (2014) culminating in a violent overthrow of democratically elected President, and legitimate government.

Initially Crimea joined Russia as Tavrichesky region by ‘ukaz’ (1784) singed by Catherine the Great ending a protracted military campaign against Crimean Caliphate slave-trade, and systemic abduction of her subjects (mainly women and children) for sales at biggest  market between Europe and Asia. According to different historical sources from two to three million people passed through Caliphate slave market by date.

Mid-July Crimean officials reported maximum of  31 thousand cars passing Crimean bridge à day, and one million vehicles crossed the bridge since opening in May.

 

 

Inauguration of Crimean bridge

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.”