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Moscow claims Europe's tallest skyscraper

Moscow is once again home to Europe's tallest skyscraper after overtaking London's Shard. It is just one of a series of tall buildings that have sprung up in the Russian capital.

The Mercury City Tower topped out at 338 meters (1,109 feet), making it the tallest skyscraper in Europe, its development company said Thursday.

The tower actually became the tallest skyscraper on the continent while still under construction in September, when it surpassed London's 310-meter Shard.

The tower, which is still under construction, is covered in copper glass. The first 40 floors will house offices, while the remaining top levels will consist of luxury apartments.

The milestone comes after nearly one billion dollars (775 million euros) spent during six years of construction.

"It shows that, in Russia, we can keep pace with modern architecture according to European standards," said Igor Kesayev, head of the tower's Mercury development company.

Moscow's emergence

Located in the emerging Moscow City financial district, the Mercury City Tower is one of a series of tall skyscrapers in the Russian capital.

Next door, the Federation Tower is under construction, and is expected to itself become Europe's tallest skyscraper when it reaches its final height of 506 meters next year.

Two buildings in the same development previously held the distinction of being Europe's tallest.

"The Russians will probably keep the record for a while since they're building more skyscrapers," said Matthew Keutenis of the building data analysis company Emporis.

The Mercury City Tower may be the tallest building of its kind in Europe for now, but it is a relative dwarf in comparison to the world's tallest skyscraper - Dubai's Burj Khalifa - which stands at a staggering 828 meters.

dr/mz (dpa, AP, dapd)