Europe and NATO should introduce restrictive measures not only against the companies involved in the construction of the Crimea Bridge, but also against the people who “used” the crossing, said the vice president of the Ukrainian presidential administration Konstantin Yeliseev.
According to the politician, quoted by the Ukrinform agency, after the bridge went into operation, Russia began to “block” commercial ships trying to reach Berdyansk (port city in the south-east of Ukraine).
In his view, the construction of the passage represents a “threat” for Europe, while the retaliations introduced by the West are not enough.
“We have called on the EU and NATO countries to introduce additional sanctions against Russia precisely because of their actions in the Sea of Azov,” he said.
The Crimea reunited with Russia in 2014 after a referendum in which more than 96% of residents voted for reunification. However, Kiev still considers the peninsula as Ukrainian territory. The Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed that reunification occurred in a legal manner, in accordance with international law, and that the matter is final and resolved.
The 19-kilometer long bridge links the region of Krasnodar to the Crimea and is the longest in Russia. The start of the car traffic was initially scheduled for December 2018, but work was completed earlier.
Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the road part of the bridge across the Kerch Strait on May 15 this year, with vehicles beginning to the cross the bridge the next day. The commencement of rail traffic across the bridge is planned for December 2019.
This comes as according to a source, Ukraine is preparing a provocation in the Sea of Azov with the aim of discrediting the Russian Border Guard.
“On October 11, agents of the Ukrainian Border Service plan to organize the departure of a patrol vessel from the port of Mariupol to the Sea of Azov with a group of Ukrainian media journalists on board,” the source said.
Recently, Crimean leader Sergei Aksenov has reported that the Russian Border Guard has tightened control over the waters of the Black and Azov seas because of naval maneuvers by Ukrainian military personnel .