U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON
May 15, 2018
The Opening of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea
The United States condemns Russia’s construction and partial opening of the Kerch Strait Bridge between Russia and occupied Crimea, which was done without the permission of the government of Ukraine. Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia’s construction of the bridge serves as a reminder of Russia’s ongoing willingness to flout international law.
The bridge represents not only an attempt by Russia to solidify its unlawful seizure and its occupation of Crimea, but also impedes navigation by limiting the size of ships that can transit the Kerch Strait, the only path to reach Ukraine’s territorial waters in the Sea of Azov. We call on Russia not to impede this shipping.
The United States has sanctioned numerous individuals and entities involved in this project. These and our other Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.
We once again reaffirm our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and recall the international community’s expression of that commitment in UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262.