[QODLink]
Europe

Kazakhstan suspends Russian missile tests

Russian rocket and missile tests on Kazakh lands halted after rocket explodes near village.

Last updated: 28 Mar 2014 09:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where Russia's Soyuz rocket took off from recently, is also leased by Russia [AFP]

Kazakhstan has suspended Russian rocket and missile tests at military testing sites on Kazakh territory after a Russian rocket crashed near a village in the western part of the country.

Early on Thursday, a meteorological rocket was launched from the Kapustin Yar testing site in Russia, but it exploded near the Kazakh village of Shungai, said Kazakhstan's defence ministry. 

The ministry announced in a statement on Friday that the suspension of tests on its military fields "until the causes of the incident have been clarified". It added that no casualties or serious damage were reported.

Russia's Defence Ministry blamed the incident on a failure of the rocket's engine system which prevented it from reaching a targeted testing ground in Kazakhstan, which Russia rents out from the country.

The Soviet-era Kapustin Yar test site, in use since the late 1940s, sprawls from Russia's southern Astrakhan Region to Kazakhstan's Atyrau and West Kazakhstan regions.

Russia leases the Kazakh land and tests various types of missiles and rockets, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Russia and Kazakhstan have close political and economic ties, but several botched launches of Russian rockets have caused tensions in the past.

Last July, Kazakhstan temporarily banned all launches of Russia's Proton cargo rockets from the Baikonur cosmodrome rented by Moscow after a rocket of this type carrying three navigation satellites crashed shortly after lift-off.

That incident led to a large spill of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, but there were no reports of casualties.

 

 

243

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.