Breaking News, February 20, 2018
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultkvist, during the Munich Security Conference, said that his country can deploy troops on the east of Ukraine to help the UN. In an interview with the Swedish Radio, he said that it is still unknown how the peacekeeping operation will unfold, and therefore he «does not want to guess», RIA News reports. Kiev repeatedly stated that the UN mission in Donbass should take place with the participation of the military, police and civilians. the Kremlin said that a compromise on peacekeepers in the Donbass is possible only if the dialogue happens with representatives of unrecognized republics.
Iraq resumed the negotiations with Russia on the topic of purchasing of S-400 air defense systems. According to an Arab source, a delegation of the Iraqi Defense Ministry arrived in Russia the day before to discuss a deal that was suspended as early as 2014 due to the activation of the ISIS. Earlier, Iraq had already purchased a part of the export version of T-90 tanks, some of which had already been delivered to the federal troops.
Ukrainian forces violated the ceasefire agreements 11 times during the past day, releasing 214 shells at the front-line territories of the DPR. During the shelling, mortars, weaponry of IFVs, various types of grenade launchers and small arms were used. The western outskirts of Donetsk, in particular — the villages of Trudovskie, Aleksandrovka and Staromikhailovka, as well as the suburbs of Gorlovka, Dokuchaevsk and the southern villages of the Republic were under fire.
Five people were injured in a bomb attack that occurred yesterday in Baghdad. According to General Saad Maan, representative of the Baghdad operational command, the explosion occurred near a spa-salon in the Karrada area. Another explosion happened in Sunday, near a spa-salon in the eastern area of al-Ghadir, after which facade of the building suffered, but there were no victims.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Chaputovich said that it is impossible to establish Russian-Polish relations because of the «aggression» from the Russian side. «We believe that Russia is an aggressor, sanctions must be preserved, and at the forum of the UN Security Council — our motto is to make international law stronger.» Chaputovich said. However, the minister believes that Warsaw should still maintain diplomatic relations with Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a news conference after talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawajei Asif told about the presence of ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan and about the reluctance of the US and its allies to recognize this fact. He noted the need for more active efforts to prevent the spread of militants in the region and noted the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in this issue, where all key neighbors of Afghanistan are present, and Kabul itself participates as an observer.