Russia, China may make ‘unprecedented’ secret undersea tunnel to Crimea: Report
The tunnel would mark an unprecedented collaboration between the two countries.
Russian and Chinese business leaders are considering the construction of an underwater tunnel connecting Russia and Crimea, it was reported. The tunnel would mark an unprecedented collaboration between the two countries even though China has not recognized Russian sovereignty over Crimea.
The Washington Post reported that Russia is exploring the option as an alternative to its 11-mile bridge across the Kerch Strait. The bridge has been bombed multiple times since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. As per the report, the Chinese Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC)- a state enterprise owned and operated by the Chinese Communist Party- wrote that workers were "ready to ensure the construction of railway and road construction projects of any complexity in the Crimean region.
Citing an email from Russian business leader Vladimir Kalyuzhny, the report claimed that he expressed interest in acting as a general contractor for a tunnel project calling the reports "a lot of hot air" while flatly denying cooperation between Russia and the CRCC. The Chinese Communist Party wishes to remain behind the scenes on the tunnel project under “strict provision of complete confidentiality”, it claimed as CRCC said that their work on a hypothetical Kerch Strait project would be attributed to "another, unaffiliated legal entity" and that the corporation would “convert its dollar funds into rubles for their transfer to Crimea to fund [consortium] projects.”
China has never officially recognized Russia's claims of sovereignty over Crimea. Moscow invaded Crimea in 2014.
This comes as Oleg Kryuchkov, a senior Moscow-installed official, said that nearly half a million people were without power in Crimea amid reports of high winds, flooded homes, snowbound roads, and damaged buildings, news agency Reuters reported.