Russia's Putin drives truck to open bridge link with annexed Crimea

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

He stressed that despite the futile attempts of Moscow to legitimize temporary occupation of Crimea, a coherent solution to a number of worldwide jurisdictions confirm - "the burden of the ideal global crime for Russian Federation will only grow".

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.

On Tuesday, May 15, at about 2:00 p.m., the grand opening of the Crimean bridge will take place.

The United States said the bridge opening was an attempt to solidify Moscow's "unlawful seizure" of the Ukrainian territory.

Poroshenko stated that construction and the opening of the bridge is "another case of Russian Federation ignoring the worldwide law".

The European Union also criticised what it called a fresh assault on Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"Such actions by Moscow fundamentally contradict the generally recognized norms and principles of global 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.

"We continue to work with partners to oppose the annexation, including by maintaining a robust package of sanctions". The massive bridge will help reduce Crimea's reliance on sea transport.

Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions and prompting a deterioration in ties with the West.

The blocks imposed by Kiev and Western sanctions have meant a large amount of food is transported from Russian Federation to Crimea by ship, meaning the bridge will play an important role in reducing the region's reliance on sea transport.

It had been expected to be fully constructed by the end of 2018 but has been completed six months ahead of schedule and will be open to traffic on May 16, according to a Kremlin statement. Construction of the bridge, which can carry up to 40,000 cars a day, started in 2016. A connecting highway from Kerch to the regional capital of Simferopol will only be completed in 2020.