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NATO’s Observation Over Russia; Libya Arms Embargo; US Tests Ballistic Missiles

US, Estonian, Lithuanian military to carry out observation flight over Russia, Belarus
MUNICH – A joint mission of the United States, Estonia and Lithuania will execute an observation flight over the territory of the Union State of Russia and Belarus between February 17 and 21, while Russian specialists will reciprocate by flying over Greece, Russia’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper reports on Monday, citing chief of the Russian National Centre for Nuclear Risk Reduction Sergei Ryzhkov.
“Implementing the international Treaty on Open Skies, the Russian inspector group is planning to carry out an observation flight aboard a Russian An-30B observation jet over Greece. The observation flight over Greece will be performed between February 17 and 21 from the Open Skies airfield Nea Anchialos,” Ryzhkov underlined.
“On the same dates, a joint mission of the US, Estonia and Lithuania will take off from the Kubinka airfield to carry out an observation flight over the member states [of the treaty] – Russia and Belarus – aboard a Swedish Saab 340 observation plane.”
Violations of an arms embargo in Libya have become a joke and those who breach it must be held to account, a senior UN official has said.
Foreign ministers and other top officials from about a dozen countries gathered on Sunday in Munich to discuss the conflict in Libya and reaffirmed a commitment to respect a much-violated arms embargo and back a full ceasefire.
“The arms embargo has become a joke, we all really need to step up here,” UN Deputy Special Representative to Libya Stephanie Williams said.
“It’s complicated because there are violations by land, sea and air, but it needs to be monitored and there needs to be accountability.”
Germany and the UN hosted the meeting in a bid to maintain pressure to cut off external military support for the warring parties in Libya.
“It has been obvious in the last weeks there have been many not insignificant breaches of the weapons embargo,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said at the press conference after the meeting.
“There have been decidedly differing explanations offered up from Libya as to what the reasons for this are but everybody agrees that the path we have taken, which is to separate the conflicting parties from their supporters is still the only path to a possible successful outcome in ending the civil war in Libya.”
The U.S. Navy tested a Trident II ballistic missile without a warhead, the Navy’s press service said.
The launch was made from a strategic submarine USS Maine class “Ohio” in the coast of San Diego (California).
“The test is designed to verify the status of Trident II and collect additional data on the reliability, accuracy and characteristics of strategic nuclear forces,” the Navy reports to TASS.
Trident II missiles were originally planned to be removed from service in 2024, but then their service life was extended until the 2040s.
This launch became the 178th in a row from the moment when these missiles were put into service in 1989.
Trident II is currently the only missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead in the U.S. and British Navy.
In September, the United States conducted a test launch of four Trident II D5 intercontinental ballistic missiles from a submarine.
One of them flew near the Mexican Airbus, flying from Guadalajara to Tijuana.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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