Moscow Responds to Washington's Remarks on Crimean Bridge Opening

Moscow Responds to Washington's Remarks on Crimean Bridge Opening

The contentious bridge linking Russia to Crimea has prompted yet another controversy, this one over whether Russian President Vladimir Putin's ceremonial first crossing actually came in second - to a cat.

Then Putin took to the wheels and drove over the Kerch Strait of the Black Sea in an orange Kamaz dump truck - manufactured by a state-owned company headed by Sergey Chemezov, Putin's KGB colleague in East Germany in the 1980s. "And finally, thanks to your work and your talent, the miracle has happened".

"NATO condemns the construction and partial opening of Russian Federation to the bridge across the Kerch Strait between Russian Federation and Crimea", - quotes the DW representative of the Alliance of Pierre Casale. "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", he added. Some local residents on the Crimean side of the bridge waved from the roadside as a convoy of bikers, among them the leader of a pro-Kremlin biker group, tooted their horns on their way onto the peninsula.

In a post on Facebook, the Russian embassy in the United States said: "As one could predict, Washington is not happy with that".

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"But Crimea is Russian Federation. We will not ask anyone the permission for the construction of the transport infrastructure in the interests of the citizens of the Russian regions", the message said. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have so far refused to acknowledge Crimea as part of Russian Federation.

The bridge, set to open to the public Wednesday, can handle 40,000 cars a day and move 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year, RIA Novosti reported.

"Putin initiated this project himself. Many didn't believe these plans were possible", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday ahead of the ceremony. "We will build more roads, bridges, airports and ports". Its span stretches across 19 kilometers. "Everything is ready!" Mostik the cat, a mascot for the bridge builders, posted on Instagram on Monday.

Earlier on Tuesday, their opinion on the opening of the Crimean bridge was expressed in the EU.