Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again stoked the flames of tension between his country and the West. Late on Tuesday, Russia acknowledged test firing an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. A US official acknowledged that Russia had notified them of the weapons test in accordance with international agreement, and that the weapons test was scheduled before the events of Crimea unfolded.
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 U.S. official said the United States had received proper notification from Russia ahead of the test and that the initial notification pre-dated the crisis in Crimea. The Russian Defence Ministry could not be reached for comment.
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, Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov 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.
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 that President Vladimir Putin will protect them.