Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated on Twitter that he was confident that Russia would be held responsible for the “illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge and other crimes.”
“Russia will need [the Kerch Bridge] as a road to retreat. After the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty in the Crimea, Ukraine will use it to strengthen links with Kuban where a large number of Ukrainians live,” his statement reads.
According to Russian media, Arkady Rotenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Stroygazmontazh (SGM) group which is a contractor of the construction of the Bridge said that he “does not take such statements seriously.”
The road section of the Bridge through the Kerch Strait was opened to traffic on May 16. The railway section of the bridge is not yet completed. Terms of the state contracts to perform works related to ensuring transport security of the Kerch Bridge were postponed to December 1st, 2019.
Earlier, Poroshenko stated that the illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge in Russian-annexed Crimea is evidence of the Kremlin’s defiance of international law. The European Union and the USA criticized the partial opening of the Kerch Bridge between Russian territory and annexed Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the need to construct the crossing across the Kerch Strait after the annexation of the Crimea in March, 2014. He promised to build the bridge before 2018, and to put it into commission in the summer of 2019. Ukraine withdrew from the agreement with Russia on construction of the bridge in 2014 after the annexation of the Crimea.