Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Five children among six killed in minibus crash in central France

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

Europe

Russia tests ballistic missile amid tension over Ukraine

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-05

Russia said it had successfully test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, with tensions running high over its military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Russia said it had successfully test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, with tensions running high over its military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

A US official said the US had received proper notification from Russia ahead of the test and that the initial notification pre-dated the crisis in Crimea.

The Strategic Rocket Forces launched an RS-12M Topol missile from the southerly Astrakhan region and the dummy warhead hit its target at a proving ground in Kazakhstan, a Russian defence ministry spokesman told state-run news agency RIA.

The launch site, Kapustin Yar, is near the Volga River about 450 km (280 miles) east of the Ukrainian border. Kazakhstan, a Russian ally in a post-Soviet security grouping, is further to the east.

The test launch came at a moment of high tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where the Crimean peninsula remains under de facto control by Kremlin-backed troops.

‘Routine test’

US officials declined to comment on the effect of the missile test on Russia's relations with Washington.

"This was a previously notified and routine test launch of an ICBM," said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council.

"Such advance notifications are intended to provide transparency, confidence, and predictability and to help both sides avoid misunderstandings," she said in a statement.

Russia conducts test launches of its ICBMs fairly frequently and often announces the results, a practice seen as intended to remind the West of Moscow’s nuclear might and reassure Russians.

Russia and the US signed the latest of a series of treaties restricting the numbers of ICBMs in 2010, but Moscow has indicated it will agree to further cuts in the near future and is taking steps to upgrade its nuclear arsenal.

Anti-missile conflict

President Vladimir Putin has emphasised that Russia must maintain a strong nuclear deterrent, in part because of an anti-missile shield the US is building in Europe which Moscow says could undermine its security.

The Russian defence ministry said the test could help Russia improve its capability of foiling anti-missile shields, RIA reported.

Moscow has expressed concern that US interceptors could shoot down some of its ICBMs in flight, weakening its arsenal.

The US says the shield is meant to protect against threats from states such as Iran and poses no threat to Russia.

The 20-metre (60-foot) long RS-12M, known in NATO parlance as the SS-25 Sickle, was first put into service in 1985, six years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is designed to carry a nuclear warhead. Its range is 10,500 km (6,000 miles).

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-03-05

  • UKRAINE

    West scrambles to bolster Ukraine as Russia tightens grip on Crimea

    Read more

  • UKRAINE

    Video: 'I don't understand why Putin is invading us'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)