today carried out a successful test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, news agencies reported citing the defence ministry, amid a standoff between Moscow and the West over Ukraine.
Interfax and ITAR-TASS quoted the defence ministry as saying a successful test of the RS-12M Topol ICBM had been carried out from Russia's Kapustin Yar rocket launch site near the Caspian Sea at 2238 IST
The missile hit its target in the Sary Shagan ballistic missile test range that Russia leases in Kazakhstan, it said.
"The purpose of the launch was to test a prospective warhead of intercontinental ballistic missiles," Interfax quoted defence ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov as saying, without providing further details.
Russia reportedly carried out previous tests in December and March of the RS-12M Topol, a road-mobile missile first put into service in the 1980s and then repeatedly modified.
It is referred to as the SS-25 Sickle by NATO
and has a reported maximum range of 10,000 kilometres.
Russia earlier this month test-launched several ballistic missions during military exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin.
The tests have been conducted amid a continued standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine, where Moscow seized the Crimean peninsula in March and pro-Russian rebels have taken control of parts of the east of the country.
Tensions seem to have eased in recent days however, ahead of a presidential vote on Sunday aimed at bringing Ukraine out of crisis.
US President Barack Obama has threatened Russia with additional sanctions over its stance towards the crisis in Ukraine.
During a phone conversation with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Friday, Obama praised the Kiev government’s plans for a presidential election later this month and repeated threats of new sanctions against Russia if Moscow’s “provocative and destabilizing” behavior in Ukraine continues.
According to the White House, the two leaders also discussed an upcoming regional conference in Paris organized to improve cooperation to combat the threats posed by Boko Haram, the Takfiri group that recently abducted nearly 300 girls in Nigeria.
Obama’s threat against Moscow came one day after his Secretary of State, John Kerry, said Russia should “let Ukraine vote” in the presidential election which is scheduled for May 15 or face sanctions as he stressed that “I'm not going to get into announcing today what the sanctions are.”
US sanctions against Russia have so far targeted several individuals and entities, including SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya. The sanctions involve a US travel ban and a freeze on any assets these individuals and entities hold in the United States.
However, despite repeated threats, the US has not yet announced any sanctions that would target key sectors of the Russian economy.
Citing a senior State Department official, the Associated Press said on Thursday that Washington shared its strategy to use a "scalpel rather than a hammer" to target vulnerabilities in Russia's business, banking, mining, energy, defense, or other sectors.
This comes as Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich announced last week that Moscow imposed sanctions against more US officials and stressed that Russia’s measure was not a publicity stunt.
Earlier this year, a number of high-ranking US officials – including House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, and Sen. John McCain – were placed under sanctions imposed by the Russian government.
Here is Obama threatening another world leader:
And one more:::
and the last one::::
OK THIS is the last one:::::
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