China and Russia have built and opened a new cross-border bridge in the Far East in the hopes of bolstering bilateral trade as Russia struggles to bounce back from sweeping Western sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Video footage of the bridge's opening revealed that, during a fireworks display, freight trucks from both ends crossed the two-lane span adorned with flags in the colors of both nations.

The RIA news agency reported on Friday that the bridge connecting the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk to the Chinese city of Heihe across the Amur River - popularly known in China as the Heilongjiang - is around one kilometer long and cost roughly $342 million.

After announcing a "no limits" alliance in February, soon before President Vladimir Putin dispatched his forces to Ukraine, Russian authorities claimed the bridge would bring the two nations closer together by promoting trade.

Russian Far East envoy Yuri Trutnev remarked, "In today's divided world, the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe bridge between Russia and China has a special special value."

In its original conception, the highway bridge was intended to lead to new economic zones and passenger travel between the Chinese city of Heihe, which has a metropolitan population of approximately 1.3 million, and the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk, which has a population of approximately a quarter-million.

Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua stated at the opening that China wants to expand practical cooperation with Russia in all sectors.

Vitaly Savelyev, Russia's Minister of Transport, stated that the bridge would help increase bilateral annual trade to over one million tonnes of products.

The bridge has been under construction since 2016 and is expected to be completed in May 2020, but its opening has been delayed becase of cross-border COVID-19 restrictions, according to BTS-MOST, the company constructing the bridge on the Russian side.

BTS-MOST stated that bridge freight traffic would reduce the distance Chinese commodities must travel to reach western Russia by 1,500 kilometers (930 miles).

Vehicles crossing the bridge are required to pay a toll of 8,700 roubles (about $150), which is expected to decrease as toll fees begin to cover construction costs.

Russia predicted in April that commodity flows with China would increase and bilateral trade would reach $200 billion by 2024.

China is a big purchaser of natural resources and agricultural products from Russia.

China has refused to denounce Russia for its activities in Ukraine and has criticized Western sanctions against Moscow.