Russian President Vladimir Putin has inspected construction work on a bridge aimed at linking the annexed Crimean Peninsula to Russia.
Putin, who was in the Crimean city of Kerch on September 15, visited the construction site for the 19-kilometer bridge set to open in December 2018.
The president said the construction of the Kerch Bridge will ensure a full integration of Crimea into Russia's transport system and will create opportunities for economic growth.
The project includes construction of a two-lane railroad and a four-lane highway across the Kerch Strait.
"This year, we provided an additional 5 billion rubles [$77 million] for road construction in Crimea, a total of 18 billion rubles [$231 million] was provided for this year," Putin also said.
Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.
Based on reporting by AP, TASS, and Interfax