Russia’s first deputy prime minister has been defending the testing of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, designed to counter the planned US missile defence system. Moscow claims the American shield will turn Europe into a powder keg. Sergei Ivanov said the RS-24 meant Russians could “feel safe from the point of view of defence and security”.
Ivanov was quoted as saying: “New tactical and strategic complexes being developed by Russia would be able to overcome any existing or future defence systems.”
Ivanov, widely tipped to replace President Vladimir Putin, also oversaw the launch of the Iskander-M missile. Washington insists the defence shield it wants to set up via Poland and the Czech Republic is aimed at protecting the US from possible attacks from rogue states, and that Russia has no reason to feel concerned. But Moscow is equally adamant the plans are a threat because they will upset the strategic balance in Europe.