World News

Putin hails newest missiles as "holiday fireworks"

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 Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

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

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Stephen Weeks