Russia's Grand Project to Build 'Putin's Bridge' to Crimea, in Photos

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

"The president does have a C category mark in his driving license [which allows him to drive vehicles having a mass of more than 3.5 tonnes]", Peskov said.

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

"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.

Vladimir Putin has opened a bridge between the Russian mainland and Crimea, tightening Russia's hold over the contested peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

"I welcome the formal decision of the EU Council to impose sanctions against five individuals responsible for the unlawful conduct of the presidential elections in the temporarily occupied Crimea and Sevastopol", - he wrote.

Construction on the bridge to link Crimea with Russia's Krasnodar region began in February 2016.

The cost of the project is estimated at around 228 billion rubles (about 3.6 billion US dollars), according to the project's website. "Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesman told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony.

"Putin initiated this project himself".

European Union member states chose to impose travel bans and asset freezes on five individuals, who held positions in electoral commissions in Crimea, which the European Union considers "actively supporting and implementing policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine".

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

On Tuesday Putin drove an orange Kamaz truck across the bridge as he opened the road to auto traffic.

At the other end of the 19-kilometer bridge, in Crimea, Putin attended a brief open air show.

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