The Russian-appointed head of the Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, promised in his New Year's address that construction of the Kerch bridge and the thermal power station will be completed in 2018. A video of the greeting was posted on Aksyonov’s official YouTube channel.
"The new Simferopol international airport terminal - the largest in the south of Russia - will receive its first passengers. The first electric power plant in Simferopol will give its first current. A flow of cars will pass along the Crimean bridge and the Tavrida federal highway for the first time. All this will give a powerful impetus for the development of our peninsula, [and] will lead to huge positive changes in all areas," Aksyonov said.
In his address, Aksyonov thanked the Crimeans for their "selfless work, support, understanding and patience", as well as for their "love of their native land." The Russian head of Crimea said that the outgoing year was "very different" and had brought both tests and successes.
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.