Capability, Efficiency of Russian Weaponry Manifest Themselves in Struggle against Terrorists in Syria: Putin

MOSCOW- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he was content with how domestic weapons were proving their worth in the war on international terrorism.

"The capabilities of Russian weaponry, its exceptional reliability and efficiency manifest themselves in the struggle against terrorists in the Syrian Arab Republic and the counteraction of terrorism in the entire Middle East," the Russian leader said at a session of the commission for Russia’s military and technical cooperation with foreign countries, according to Itar Tass.

Five People Killed, at Least 40 Injured in Attacks outside UK Parliament

Five people were killed and at least 40 were injured outside the UK Parliament in London after an assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer, an incident that Metropolitan Police has declared a terrorist incident, according to Press TV.

Three police officers and two pedestrians were killed during the Wednesday attacks on Westminster Bridge near the House of Parliament, said Scotland Yard's top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley.  

Authorities have declared the attack a "terrorist incident," while also saying in a statement investigators "remain open minded to the motive."

Moscow, Ready to Help UN Implement 'Four Baskets' on Syria

MOSCOW- Russia is prepared to assist the political settlement in Syria and help the United Nations in implementing the"four baskets" or core issues of debate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the meeting with UN special envoy on Syria, Staffan De Mistura.

"We appreciate this chance to meet shortly after the round of Astana talks ended and a day before the start of intra-Syrian consultations in Geneva," Lavrov said. "This is an important moment." Itar Tass reported.

"We will help you coordinate efforts on the "four baskets" - constitution, governance, elections and war on terror," Lavrov said. "All this was included in the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2254."

"We want to listen to your ideas, it is important for us to assist in achieving progress in the political settlement," he said.

UN: Parties that Attended Previous Syrian Dialogue Rounds Confirmed Participation in 5th Round of Geneva Talks

GENEVA– The United Nations announced on Tuesday that all the Syrian parties that took part in the previous Syrian-Syrian talks confirmed their attendance in the fifth round of Geneva talks.

UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci said on Tuesday that the UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura noted that “All invitees who had already attended the previous round of talks in February 2017 have confirmed their participation, according to SANA.

Vellucci was quoted as saying to reporters that de Mistura would not be on hand for the recommencement of the talks, but his deputy, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, would “engage the parties bilaterally” when talks restart in Geneva on Thursday.

Moscow Has No Plans to Deploy New Military Base in Syria: Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW- Russia does not plan to deploy a new military base on the territory of Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"There are no plans to deploy new Russian military bases on the territory of Syria," the Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to Itar Tass.

Under the Russian-Turkish accords of December 30, 2016, Russia’s Center for Reconciliation is exercising round-the-clock monitoring of the ceasefire, the Defense Ministry said.

Russian Envoy Warns NATO Eastern Flank Buildup Undermines Regional Security

Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO said the coalition plans to boost its military strength on its eastern flank close to Russia will only serve to undermine regional stability.

“This is another attempt to show that NATO will now provide its own security by deploying additional forces, thus relying on force… This is completely futile, as any attempts to strengthen the eastern flank, pump weapons into it, will only deteriorate regional security,” Alexander Grushko said, Al Manar reported.

EU Commission President Warns Trump May Trigger Trade War

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned that EU relations with the United States are at historic lows because of the policies of the new president, Donald Trump.

In an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Juncker raised concerns that the Trump administration could impose punitive tariffs on European products, causing the EU to do the same with US products.

“A trade war would neither be in Europe’s nor the USA's interests,” he told the German publication.

The EU Commission president further criticized Trump for welcoming Brexit and urging other EU members to follow Britain's example in leaving the bloc.

Russia, Japan Hold Diplomatic, Defense Talks in Tokyo

Russian and Japanese foreign and defense ministers have held "two-plus-two" talks in Tokyo to strengthen regional security and end a decades-long territorial dispute.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Sunday after Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada sat down for talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

Japan and Russia last held "two-plus-two" talks in November 2013. Meetings were shelved after that due to the crisis in Ukraine, as Japan joined sanctions against Moscow.