Putin Opens New Bridge, Defies The World

May 17, 2018, 00:57
Putin Opens New Bridge, Defies The World

Two auto lanes have opened to the public today but the railway section of the bridge is not scheduled to be completed in late 2019. When opened for traffic on Wednesday, it will be able to carry up to 40,000 cars per day on four lanes. And its opening, in Russia's official narrative, marks the physical "reunification" of Crimea with the Russian mainland.

Relations between Russian Federation and Ukraine remain extremely fraught as a simmering conflict continues between Kiev and Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine's southeast.

One year later, the advancing Red Army used materials left behind by their foes to erect a 4.5-kilometer (2.8 miles) bridge to help them chase the enemy Krauts. Later that year, the US Treasury Department slapped a series of sanctions on seven companies involved in the construction of the bridge.

In Kiev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said: "The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for worldwide law".

The bridge's construction was led by Stroygazmontazh, whose owner, Arkady Rotenberg, has close connections to the Kremlin.

And Putin is planning other grandiose infrastructure projects to boost Russia's national prestige. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko slammed Putin's action calling it, "The illegal construction of the Kerch bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for worldwide law".

Asked on state television whether worldwide sanctions had interfered with the project, Rotenberg responded: "Those who wanted to interfere helped us instead. Well - probably they did create certain difficulties, but we've overcome them and these difficulties made us unite".

"Putin initiated this project himself". And they tried later - nothing worked out. "We will make our peoples' lives better and more comfortable", Putin said. The World Bank ranks the quality of Russia's trade and transport infrastructure as 94th-best in the world, just behind Tunisia and ahead of Colombia.

"We will continue to work on similar projects across the country".

"The Russian occupying powers, which have temporarily occupied Crimea, are continuing to act outside global law", Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told AFP in an interview.

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