Putin opened rail link between occupied Crimea and Russia. Kyiv called such actions violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty | QHA media
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Putin opened rail link between occupied Crimea and Russia. Kyiv called such actions violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty

23 December 2019, 16:47
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened a rail link between occupied Crimea and Russia.

According to RIA Novosti, Putin arrived at the station complex of the railway station ” South Kerch. New Park” of the annexed peninsula.

There he was met by the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Yevgeny Dietrich, the “head” of the annexed Crimea Sergey Aksyonov, the “interim governor” of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozzhaev and other officials.

Putin went into the train driver’s cab, after which the train began movement.

Президент России Владимир Путин в кабине машиниста едет по ж/д мосту через Керченский пролив. Стоп-кадр видео
Photo: RIA Novosti

At the moment, the only official authority in Ukraine that has responded to the launch of train traffic on the Kerch Bridge is the representation of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The department noted the unlawfulness of such actions by Russia and reminded that any entry / exit to the temporarily occupied Crimea should only be made with the agreement of the Ukrainian side and through the entry/exit checkpoints at the administrative border.

“Such actions by the Russian Federation are a gross violation of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the Russian side, the Kremlin’s neglect of generally recognized principles and norms of international law,” the statement said.

The first passenger trains will run to Crimea from St. Petersburg and Moscow on December 23 and 24, and in the opposite direction on December 25 and 26. Freight train traffic is scheduled to open in June 2020.

QHA media reported, that on May 15, 2018 in the occupied Crimea, the Kerch Bridge was solemnly opened with the participation of Putin. He got behind the wheel of a KamAZ truck and headed a convoy of trucks. A day later, automobile traffic on the bridge was launched. And freight transport began moving along this bridge crossing on October 1, 2018.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Transport blocked traffic in the Kerch Strait for four days without coordination with Ukraine due to the visit of Vladimir Putin to the Crimea.