Putin drives truck over new controversial bridge linking Russian Federation to Crimea peninsula


President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he was confident people would love the bridge, which some have dubbed "Putin's bridge".

The EU has imposed a range of sanctions over Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, carried out in retaliation for Ukraine ousting its pro-Russian president in what Russia has condemned as a Western-backed coup.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, driving a truck, unveiled the auto section of a new road-and-rail bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula on Tuesday, defying Ukraine which said the move showed cynical disregard for worldwide law.

The state contract for the construction of the bridge provided for the launch of the automotive section in December 2018, but the first stage of the project has been delivered six months ahead of the deadline.

Poroshenko stated that construction and the opening of the bridge is "another case of Russian Federation ignoring the worldwide law". "Crimea has now been linked to Russian Federation". The Kremlin said it would be opened to cars on Wednesday and the rail section was due to be completed at the end of 2019. "This is a major event for the country after Russia's reunification with the Crimea", Sergei Tsekov said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.

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The Crimean Bridge overtakes Lisbon's Vasco da Gama Bridge as the longest in Europe.

Sergei Tsekov is convinced that the bridge will be protected accordingly from saboteurs. The massive bridge will help reduce Crimea's reliance on sea transport.

On Tuesday, May 15, at about 2:00 p.m., the grand opening of the Crimean bridge will take place.

The controversial Crimean Bridge has been finished six months early and will link Russia's southern Krasnodar region with the Crimean city of Kerch. The bridge is 19 kilometres long: 11.5 km on land and 7.5 km across the sea. The presidential motorcade traveled some distance away on the other half of the four-lane bridge.