By G. Veremeenko
Translated from Russia by J.Hawk
Vladimir Putin declared the necessity to build the Kerch
bridge in the shortest possible time, and to foster the development of Crimea’s
own energy sector.
“We need to build that bridge to connect Crimea with
Caucasus, with the territory of the Russian Federation. This can and should be
done in the shortest possible time.”
The President underscored the need to foster the development
of Crimea’s own energy sector.
“We should rebuild Crimea’s recreational potential in its
full glory, so that Russian citizens could use the peninsula’s unique natural
and climactic features and, which in my view is equally important, we should
re-establish Crimea’s humanitarian component as an inalienable part of our culture
and our cultural heritage,” the President added.
J.Hawk’s Comment: The Kerch-Crimea bridge will be a major
engineering undertaking, and the emphasis on its swift completion suggests the
following motives behind it:
1. Russia is not planning to seize a “land bridge”
connecting mainland Russia to Crimea via Mariupol and the Azov Sea coastline.
2. Russia is nevertheless expecting, and planning for, a
worst-case scenario of a implacably hostile banderite Ukraine or a
Ukraine-as-a-failed state, which would either not be willing to or be capable
of supplying Crimea with electricity and other necessities. The emphasis is
clearly on making Crimea as independent of Ukraine as possible—Moscow does not
seem to view Kiev as a genuine “partner for peace” in the foreseeable future.
It’s not clear what kind of “energy resources” Putin was
alluding to. Was he talking merely about Crimea being able to generate its own
electricity supplies (not really necessary, once the bridge is built), or was
it a reference to developing the considerable natural gas deposits under the
bottom of the Black Sea in Crimea’s coastal waters?