Kerch Bridge is another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty

Posted May 15, 2018

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

In Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko slammed Putin's actions.

Ukraine claims the bridge will also prevent large ships from passing through to the country's ports on the Azov Sea.

"Such actions by Moscow fundamentally contradict the generally recognized norms and principles of worldwide 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 Russian Federation officially opened the bridge.

The Russian leader, who was re-elected for a fourth Kremlin term in March extending his long rule, then pledged to build more of "such projects" across Russia. "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

The construction is one of Putin's legacy projects, after the massive renovation of the Black Sea city of Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2012 opening of the world's longest cable-stayed bridge in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.

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The railway bridge is not yet finished and has a deadline of the end of 2019.

Russian state television showed Putin dressed in jeans and a casual jacket sit behind the wheel of a construction truck with workers to drive 19 kilometres (12 miles) across the bridge, which links the Taman peninsula in southern Russian to Ukraine's Crimea peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

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

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

The bridge was completed six months ahead of schedule, according to Russian state news agencies. Download The for your English and other languages.