December 26, 2007 / 8:19 PM / 12 years ago

Putin hails newest missiles as "holiday fireworks"

Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) and President Vladimir Putin (C) attend the opening ceremony of The Year of the Family in Moscow's Kremlin December 24, 2007. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/KREMLIN

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin, who has made the assertion of Russia’s role in the world a cornerstone of his rule, hailed on Wednesday the successful test of two new nuclear missiles as holiday fireworks.

On Tuesday, a submarine in the Barents Sea fired a Sineva RSM-54 missile at a test site in the far east. A few hours later, an RS-24 ballistic missile was launched from the northern Plesetsk cosmodrome.

A relaxed and smiling Putin called the successful missile tests “pleasant and spectacular holiday fireworks”, in televised remarks with Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The two rockets will replace ageing Soviet-built strategic nuclear missiles. Russian generals say the new rockets can outperform any missile defence system.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Stephen Weeks

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