Russia-Crimea bridge to be opened by Vladimir Putin

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Russia-Crimea bridge to be opened by Vladimir Putin

It originates on the Taman Peninsula, runs through a five-kilometer dike area and the Island of Tuzla, then crosses the Kerch Strait and reaches the Crimean coast. The ceremony will be held with the participation of Vladimir Putin.

"At last, thanks to your talent, this project, this miracle, has happened", Putin told the workers. Ukraine and European countries will be able to use the bridge for profitable transit to Asia, Senator Sergei Tsekov of the Republic of Crimea said.

"It is particularly cynical that its opening is happening on the eve of the latest anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean-Tatar people by the Stalin regime".

A view of the new bridge linking Russian Federation and the Crimean peninsula prior to its opening ceremony near Kerch, Crimea, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

After Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the peninsula found itself between a rock and a hard place.

"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.

Many in Russia saw the bridge as a move toward restoring Moscow's rule over a historically Russian region.

The project cost 228 billion rubles ($3.69 billion, €3.1 billion) and will become the longest bridge in Europe, taking over the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal.

A parallel bridge for rail transport should be ready by December 2019, the Russian authorities stressed.

Putin, who was re-elected for a fourth Kremlin term in March extending his long rule, pledged to build more of "such projects" across Russian Federation.

"Putin once more demonstrated that when he carries them out, even the most ambitious plans can be achieved", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Tuesday.

"This is an extremely important day from this point of view and in a practical sense and in symbolic terms".

In July 2017, the bridge's arch for road traffic was installed.

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