China-Russia ties have strengthened with the opening of a new cross-border bridge in a sign Beijing continues to support Moscow, as it battles sweeping international sanctions imposed over its war on Ukraine.
Freight trucks from both ends crossed the two-lane bridge that links the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk to the Chinese city of Heihe.
The bridge across the Amur river is just over one kilometre long and cost 19 billion roubles ($342 million), the RIA news agency reported.
Russian authorities said the bridge would strengthen China-Russia relations by boosting trade after they announced a “no limits” partnership in February, shortly before President Vladimir Putin sent his forces into Ukraine.
“In today’s divided world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China carries a special symbolic meaning,” said Yuri Trutnev, the Kremlin’s representative in the Russian Far East.
China wants to deepen practical cooperation with Russia in all areas, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua said at the opening.
Russia’s Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said the bridge would help boost China-Russia annual trade to more than 1 million tonnes of goods.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell