Moscow is concerned about the test conducted by the United States of a missile previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Vladimir Yermakov, director of the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Friday.
Yermakov said the test was carried out just a few months after the United States exited from the INF Treaty, which indicates that the United States had started developing weapons banned by the agreement long ago.
The U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement on Thursday that the U.S. Air Force had conducted a flight test of a prototype conventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The test missile flew over 500 km before it terminated in the open ocean, said the statement.
The former Soviet Union and the United States signed the INF Treaty in 1987, which prohibited possessing, developing and testing ground-launched missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.
In recent years, Moscow and Washington have accused each other of violating the treaty amid increasing tensions. The two countries formally withdrew from the treaty in August.
A fire, which started in the early hours on Friday in a private house in a remote Russian village of Glubokoye on the border of Kazakhstan, killed a family of six, including four children, the Russian Investigative Committee said.
The committee's Altai regional department said in a statement that the cause of the fire could have been either a malfunctioning furnace or a cable short circuit.
The European Union (EU) aims to build a strong strategic relationship with the United Kingdom (UK) but not at the expense of its own interests, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said on Friday.
During the wrapping-up press conference following a two-day EU summit, Michel told reporters that "of course, we hope to keep in the future a very strong strategic relationship with the UK. But the EU is ready to defend and promote its interests.
"The level playing field is a very important goal and we will guarantee again the EU27 unity for the next negotiations," he noted.
Co-chairing the press conference with Michel, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, made it clear that the EU will have three aims in talks on the future relationship with the UK: "Zero tariffs, zero quotas and zero dumping."
The EU is now ready to move to the next step of its relationship with the UK, said von der Leyen, noting that she wants this future relationship to be "as close as possible."
"The UK will become a third country but at the very end we will have an unprecedented partnership ... The time frame ahead of us is very challenging," she said.
"It's not only a trade agreement ... Many other fields are in the portfolio to be negotiated," she told reporters.
In the conclusions released after Friday's special meeting on Brexit, the EU27 leaders reiterate their "commitment to (the UK's) orderly withdrawal on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement and call for its timely ratification and effective implementation."
They also support the Commission's decision to reappoint Michel Barnier to head the negotiations on the EU's future relationship with the UK.
Earlier in the day, European Council President Michel extended his congratulations to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory, calling on London to vote on a proposed Brexit agreement as soon as possible.
Upon his arrival at the EU summit, Michel told reporters that "it is important to have clarity as soon as possible."
"The EU will negotiate to ensure to have a close cooperation in the future with the UK," he said, adding that "the integrity of the single market is a very important issue for us."
The two-day EU summit, the first chaired by Michel, is scheduled to focus on Brexit on Friday and the leaders are expected to issue a statement following the announcement of the UK election's results.
Johnson vowed on Tuesday to break the three-year stalemate over Brexit and end the UK's membership of the EU on Jan. 31, 2020.
For this end, he aims to present his Brexit deal to the UK Houses of Parliament before the Christmas holidays. This would mean his Brexit bill winging its way through the Westminster processes and receiving Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth before Parliament goes into its festive season recess just a few days before Dec. 25.
Johnson's aim is to then establish a future permanent trading relationship with the EU by the end of 2020.
One person died and 11 were injured in an explosion at an apartment building in eastern Germany on Friday, authorities said.
The blast occurred in the apartment of a 78-year-old man, who police believe may have been the person who died.
Police said they found several containers of butane gas in the apartment in the town of Blankenburg, in a building that wasn't connected to the gas network, and that these may have caused the explosion. They initially said that military munitions had been found there, but later said they couldn't confirm that after a closer check and found no evidence of explosives.
Authorities initially thought as many as 25 people might have been injured in the explosion just before 9 a.m. but later lowered the number. Blankenburg Mayor Heiko Breithaupt said 11 people were injured, two of them seriously. A few rescue officers also were suffering from the effects of inhaling smoke.
Debris from the blast flew up to 60 meters (200 feet), police spokesman Uwe Becker told German broadcaster n-tv. Residents were evacuated from the building, which has 60 units.
The building is on the edge of Blankenburg, a town of about 20,000 people in the Harz mountains, west of Berlin.
About 100 children at a nearby daycare center were taken to other facilities. None of them was hurt.
The Labour Party's crushing defeat at the hands of turned-off voters will bring the left-wing party a new leader — ending Jeremy Corbyn's unsuccessful reign — and give it an urgent task: To recover the allegiance of its core working class voters.
Traditional Labour voters in the north and central parts of England deserted the party in droves, allowing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives — for decades seen by Labour backers as the anti-union party of the London elite — to make unprecedented gains.
Johnson's clarion call to "get Brexit done" proved more appealing than Corbyn's two-pronged approach, which raised the prospect of yet more delay in the already slow Brexit process.
It will fall to a new leader to come up with a strategy that might bring the party back to power, or at least restore it as a credible opposition force. Corbyn said Friday he will not lead Labour into another general election, but resisted calls to step down immediately.
He later said an internal election to choose a new party leader to replace him will take place early next year and that he will step down then.
Corbyn's party did relatively well in the 2017 vote, depriving Theresa May of a majority in Parliament, but imploded in Thursday's election. Corbyn was bedeviled by concerns about his fuzzy Brexit policy, the cost of the party's ambitious social plans, and worries about perceived tolerance of anti-Semitism in his inner circle.
As bitter recriminations began about the failed campaign, former Labour Party Home Secretary Alan Johnson called Corbyn "a disaster on the doorstep. Everyone knew that he couldn't lead the working class out of a paper bag."
The results also showed that the ever-cheerful Johnson — fond of saying Britain is the greatest country in the world — connected more easily with voters than the often-dour Corbyn, whose claims that Labour would address rising inequality did not gain traction.
Ian Murray, a Labour legislator who won re-election in Scotland, said the party's existence will be threatened if it doesn't learn from the across-the-board defeats. "This party must listen, this party must respond, or this party will die," he warned.
He said the party needs not just to replace Corbyn but also to change the world view he brought to the leadership.
"For the sake of the Labour movement, for the sake of the Labour Party, but more importantly for the sake of the country, not only does the person have to go but the policy and the ideology has to go as well," he said.
Corbyn early Friday indicated his desire to preside over a period of "reflection" in which the party would regroup, a strategy that seems designed to make sure that "Corbynism" — his embrace of European-style socialism with an expanded role for the state — does not end once he is replaced.
He may face stiff opposition, however, from Labour figures who want the party to move back to the political center, as defined by more successful figures including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and even Ed Miliband, who was beaten by the Conservatives in 2015 but did not suffer a drubbing of this magnitude.