During a meeting in Crimea with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and the head of the Ministry of Economic Development, Alexey Ulyukaev, Vladimir Putin demanded that those responsible for the delay in construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge from Russia to Crimea be properly dealt with, as reported by Dozhd. According to the Russian President, a specific person must be responsible for the results of work, so the Putin "does not have to keep calling phones all around the Government or subjects of the Federation."
"There must be someone who is personally responsible for the results of the work and for the expenditure of government money," Putin said.
Ulyukayev stated that the implementation of the project was his responsibility, as well as responsibility of the head of the Directorate for Construction, but Putin said that this option did not suit him.
"[That] will not do. There must be a particular person, who can be hanged if he does nothing", the President stressed.
According to Kozak, the project has been delayed due to “a dishonest firm”.
As reported by TASS, Russian Crimean Head Sergey Aksanov said that the contract with the “dishonest firm” has been terminated, and the company has not been paid. The firm is now filing a suit against the Russian Government for 280 million rubles ($4.1 million).
Aksenov emphasized that the project is now in the hands of a well-known and trusted contractor.
An agreement was initially signed between Moscow and Kiev in December of 2013 for the construction of a transport passage through the Kerch Strait. Three months later, in March 2014, the Crimea was annexed by Russia.
Construction of the bridge is scheduled to be completed by December of 2018. The project will cost an estimated 228.3 billion rubles ($3.3 billion).
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.