Ukraine protests against launch of Kerch bridge in Russian-occupied Crimea

Hugh Fox
May 15, 2018

In Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said: "The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for global law. Particularly cynical is the fact that its discovery comes on the eve of the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people by the Stalinist regime", - wrote Poroshenko.

The annexation of the peninsula in 2014 was condemned by Kiev and the West as an illegal land grab.

This is said in a statement made by the European External Action Service on Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin drove a truck across a new bridge connecting mainland Russia to Moscow-annexed Crimea Tuesday, a project Ukraine has condemned as a violation of global law. Many in Russia saw the move as restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.

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"The Russian occupying powers, which have temporarily occupied Crimea, are continuing to act outside worldwide law", Volodymyr told the French news agency.

"The continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russian Federation and will not recognise this violation of global law", the spokesperson said.

The construction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait between the Black and Azov seas started in 2015 following the incorporation of the former Ukrainian republic in 2014 and consequent deterioration of relations between Moscow and Kiev.

Ukraine has condemned the project, which cost 228 billion rubles ($3.7 billion). "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

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"Putin initiated this project himself".

The opening of the bridge comes a day before general traffic will be allowed.

The Kremlin said the bridge would be opened to cars on Wednesday. A railway bridge is due to be completed by the end of 2019. The bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule.

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