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    PROBE INTO ARCTIC NAVAL GAMES TO BE OVER NOT EARLIER AFTER MARCH

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 2- (RIA NOVOSTI) - The drawbacks revealed during strategic naval exercises in the Barents Sea pertained only to the launch of a sea-based inter-continental ballistic missile of the Arctic Fleet. There are no complaints about other arms and services, acting defence minister Sergey Ivanov told reporters Tuesday.

    The land troops, strategic missile troops, the air force and space troops involved performed all their assignments with a flourish, including tests of new samples of strategic weaponry, said Ivanov.

    "This kind of exercises are meant to reveal one's weak points and strengths," said Ivanov. "If we failed for another decade to stage such manoeuvres, we would have a very vague idea about the real state of affairs. Now we are aware of our faults." An inter-departmental commission probing into causes for the Arctic fleet incident in the Barents Sea will come up with results not earlier than in April, reported the acting defence minister.

    "There can be no haste or confines for summing up the results of this kind of investigation. Only after everything is thoroughly examined and all the caused are established shall we decide on further action. It will be not earlier than this April," continued Ivanov.

    As Vladimir Putin oversaw the exercises, an emergency occurred and one of the missiles launched from a submarine self-destructed due to deviation from its route.

    New exercises are scheduled for this year, according to the defence minister.

    "We are certain to stage them but I can't say now with which fleet-it however matters little as this kind of weaponry is available at various fleets," concluded Ivanov.

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