The United States has condemned the inauguration by Vladimir Putin of a bridge linking the Crimea with Russia, estimating that it is an attempt to consolidate the “illegal takeover” of that territory by Moscow.
“The construction of the bridge in Russia serves as a reminder of Russia’s continued willingness to circumvent international law,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, reaffirming that “Crimea is part of Ukraine.”
Washington made a statement after the Russian president crossed the wheel of an orange truck on the Kerch Strait, which connects the peninsula of Tamán, in southern Russia, with the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Nauert said that “the United States condemns the construction and partial opening of Russia” of the bridge, carried out “without the permission of the government of Ukraine”.
“The bridge represents not only an attempt by Russia to consolidate its illegal takeover and occupation of Crimea, but it also impedes navigation by limiting the size of ships that can transit through the Kerch Strait, the only way to reach the territorial waters of Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, “he said.
Nauert reaffirmed the “commitment” of the United States with the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and warned that all US sanctions related to Crimea “will remain in force until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”