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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's first deputy PM says Iskander tests were successful

RIA Novosti

04/06/2007 15:35

MOSCOW, June 4 (RIA Novosti) - Monitoring data show that last week's tests of the Russia's new Iskander SS-26 Stone missile were successful, a first deputy prime minister said Monday.

Speaking to the president at his meeting with the Cabinet, Sergei Ivanov said: "We have objective monitoring data, including photographic, which show that the tests were successful. The deviation of the mockup from the target point was one meter."

Ivanov, a former defense minister, said this was a good result, given that the tests were preliminary.

Russian officials earlier said the tests of a new version of the Iskander-M ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads and of the RS-24 MIRV cruise missile were a response to U.S. plans to deploy missile shield elements in Europe, and the opening of NATO bases in former Eastern Bloc states.

Washington announced in January it would install a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland to counter possible missile attacks from Iran and North Korea. Russia has dismissed the argument as ungrounded and considers the plans a security threat.

President Vladimir Putin earlier also said Russia could withdraw from the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, arguing that the arms reduction pact had not been ratified by any NATO member states. NATO members have demanded that Russia first withdraw from Soviet-era bases in Georgia and Moldova under previous agreements.

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