Kerch bridge opening represents Russia's reckless behavior – Duncan
British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan considers Russia's opening of the Kerch Bridge to the Crimean Peninsula without Kyiv's consent yet another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and stressed concern over violations of human rights on the peninsula.
"Crimea is part of Ukraine, and its annexation by Russia is a breach of international law. The opening of this bridge represents yet another violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and a further example of Russia's reckless behavior. We continue to work with partners to oppose the annexation, including by maintaining a robust package of sanctions," the official website of the UK's government quoted the minister as saying.
Duncan said the UK also remains deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Crimea, where it can be seen the systematic persecution of minority groups and of those who voice their opposition to Russia's illegal annexation of the territory.
"We call again for Russia to release all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Crimea and in Russia, and to allow unrestrained access for international human rights monitoring bodies to the peninsula," he added.
As was reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening of motor traffic along the Kerch bridge (19 km in length) on May 15. This bridge will connect the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014, with mainland Russia by motor and railway overpasses.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine would consistently defend its positions in international courts despite Russia's attempts to legalize the temporary occupation of the peninsula.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said that Russia would be held liable for the illegal construction of the bridge.
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin called the bridge a "road to nowhere."