The British government is expected to announce on Tuesday, during the visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to London, its consent to lead an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post. The troops will be introduced into Afghanistan under the UN aegis. The paper says that the international force will be composed of "several thousand" heavily armed troops, including some 2,000 to 3,000 British soldiers. Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Bangladesh, Jordan and other countries also have made commitments to participate in the operation. The Washington Post points out that the US will not participate. According to the paper, "British officials hope to pass the control of the operation to another country, probably Turkey, before the summer." A resolution authorizing the creation of the peacekeeping mission may be adopted in New York on Friday, December 14.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea
President Vladimir Putin has not released an official statement yet about his position on the issue of the pension reform in Russia