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