Russia gives $3 billion Crimea bridge contract to Putin ally

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 30, 2015 7:01 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian government has awarded the contract for the construction of a $3 billion bridge to Crimea to a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin.

In a decree published online Friday, the government said that a company owned by Arkady Rotenberg would be given the commission to build a bridge linking Crimea — the Black Sea peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in March — to mainland Russia.

Costs for the automobile and railroad bridge cannot exceed 212 billion rubles ($3 billion) and it must be completed by December 2018. The government decree does not give any specifics about the design of the bridge or exactly where it will cross the 5-kilometer (3-mile) -wide Kerch Strait, both of which would greatly influence cost.

Recommended
The Electoral College Debate
Walter E. Williams

The contract was given to Rotenberg without the public tenders that are typically mandatory for government-commissioned projects in Russia.

Rotenberg, a childhood friend and longtime judo partner of Putin's, is on the European Union and U.S. sanctions lists.