Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    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)