Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially opened a rail route linking Russia’s two biggest cities to Crimea, which rejoined the Russian Federation in 2014.
On Monday, the Russian leader stood in the driver’s cabin of a shortened three-carriage train for the unveiling ceremony of a 19-kilometer railway bridge that links the Black Sea peninsula to southern parts of the country and from there to the capital Moscow and St Petersburg.
Putin praised as “magnificent” the 227-billion-ruble ($3.6-billion) project during his ride from Kerch in Crimea.
“With your work, talent, determination and single-mindedness, you’ve shown that Russia is able to do such world-scale infrastructure projects. This is after all the longest bridge not only in Russia but also in Europe,” Putin told a crowd of construction workers.
“You’ve shown that we can do such large-scale projects using our own technological abilities. This, without exaggeration, gives us all confidence that we can and definitely will do similar projects in the future,” the Russian president added.