Crimea was annexed from Ukraine following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and takeover of the area by pro-Russian separatists and armed forces. Throughput of the transition - 40 thousand cars and 47 pairs of trains per day, 14 million passengers and 13 million tons of cargo per year.
"At last, thanks to your talent, this project, this miracle, has happened", Putin told cheering workers on the Crimean side, according to Reuters.
The US State Department on Tuesday condemned the partial opening of the bridge across the Kerch Strait. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had considered and then scrapped plans to build a bridge over the Kerch strait.
European Union and United States sanctions have targeted those involved in the realization of the bridge, particularly businessman Arkady Rotenberg, a close ally of Putin, whose company Stroygazmontazh won the construction contract.
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Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said on social media that the illegal construction of the bridge is the latest evidence of the Kremlin's disregard for global law.
"We came to participate in the opening (of the bridge), to drive on it for the first time", said Aleksandr Karavayev, a resident of Sevastopol.
"As one could predict, Washington is not happy", the embassy wrote. "But Crimea is Russian Federation", the embassy said in the statement on Tuesday.
We will build similar works in other parts of our nation, roads, new air terminals and ports and we will succeed because we have people like you, the Russian president said. State television broadcast live from a camera mounted inside the truck cab as Putin threw it into gear and made small talk with a construction worker sitting next to him.
Those sanctions, in effect, targeted a member of Putin's inner circle: The primary contract for the bridge's construction was awarded to a unit of Stroygazmontazh, a firm controlled by Arkady Rotenberg, a childhood friend of Putin and his former judo sparring partner.