President Putin opens Crimean Bridge despite Ukrainian protests

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Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Crimean Bridge motorway section and drove the lead vehicle of the construction equipment convoy, writes Kremlin.ru.

Vladimir Putin visited the Consolidated Traffic Management Centre and heard reports on the readiness of utility teams to operate the transport route across the Kerch Strait. The head of state also spoke briefly with the builders of the bridge, thanked them and congratulated them on completing the project ahead of schedule.

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its strong protest against the launch of the bridge across the Kerch Strait by Russia in occupied Crimea and once again stressed that the construction of this facility without the consent of Ukraine is unlawful, writes unian

"Such actions by Moscow fundamentally contradict the generally recognized norms and principles of international law, grossly violate the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 and bilateral treaty obligations to Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement on May 15 when Russia officially opened the bridge.

After the construction equipment convoy crossed the bridge, the head of state addressed a rally marking the opening of the Crimean Bridge motorway.

Over 10,000 people worked to complete the Crimean Bridge six months ahead of schedule. The motorway section of the bridge has over 60 road signs and ten automatic systems monitoring compliance with traffic regulations.

The 19-kilometre Crimean Bridge is the longest bridge in Russia and Europe. It begins on the Taman Peninsula, passes over a five-kilometre dam and Tuzla Island, crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast.

Two-way automobile and public transit traffic via the Kerch Strait will be launched on May 16. The railway section of the bridge is scheduled to open in late 2019.

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