Russia’s military has test-fired a multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, attracting the attention of U.S. officials.
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren on Tuesday told reporters the missile flight test “posed no threat to the United States homeland.” The Russians were simply performing a routine test launch, he said.
Such a test is not unusual — Russia just last month test-fired an ICBM — but it comes amid heightened tensions with the West after the country’s recent invasion of Crimea.
U.S. military assets in the Black Sea were on high alert amid reports Ukraine troops traded gunfire with pro-Russian militants Tuesday. The test came the same day as President Obama spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the two leaders calling on each other to do all in their power to avoid further bloodshed.
Prior to launching the missile, Russia issued notifications in compliance with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, Col. Warren said.
The treaty establishes the framework by which the United States and Russia plan to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals and limits the number of nuclear missions the countries can conduct to 700 each.
“It’s important to I think for me to assure the American people that we were watching [the launch] and that we immediately assessed that there is no threat,” Col. Warren said.