Main News of February 19


* European Union foreign ministers have agreed to keep current sanctions against Syria in place for another three months and pledged to continue EU humanitarian aid to the war-torn country

* Incumbent Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has won Armenia’s presidential election with over 58 percent of the vote, according to official results announced by the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC)


* Russia’s parliament observed a minute of silence in honor of a three-year-old Russian boy who officials in Moscow say was killed by his US adoptive mother, although the investigation into his death is yet to be concluded

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said:

– The country should not return cultural property confiscated by Bolshevik and Soviet authorities after the 1917 revolution to its previous owners

– A collection of Jewish religious texts from the archive of Moscow’s Lenin Library to the building of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow

* The Russian government’s work in the next five years will be crucial to improving the system of state governance and the business climate, essential to restoring investor confidence and the level of investment to modernize the economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said

* Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev said:

-The recent meteorite strike in Russia’s Urals underlines the necessity of establishing an international asteroid defense system

– Russian state security and law enforcement agencies will retain their investigative functions for now

* Foreign military supplies to Syria’s armed opposition have been growing, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said

* Police in the Chelyabinsk Region have confiscated an unidentified substance from a local man who was trying to sell it as a “meteorite fragment”

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