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Russia Tests Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile Despite Tensions Over Ukraine (LIVE UPDATES)

04/03/2014 21:16 GMT | Updated 04/03/2014 21:59 GMT

Despite rising tensions over Crimea, Russia has carried out the test of an inter-continental ballistic missile, the type designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, the military launched a Topol RS-12M ICBM, which was fired over the Caspian Sea, landing in a remote part of Kazakhstan on Tuesday evening (18:10 GMT). "The aim of the launch was to test a promising intercontinental ballistic missile payload," said the Ministry.

topol missile

A Topol M ICBM, the type tested on Tuesday by Russia

However a US official said that it was a planned test, which was carried out within the protocols of the START treaty and with Washington’s prior knowledge. Speaking to AFP, a defence official said: "We have been notified of this test earlier this week, it's not unexpected."

During times of crisis, the US often delays the testing of weapons that could prove provocative, however Moscow continued with the test, despite the deepening crisis over Russia’s military action in the Crimea peninsula.

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