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Main News of February 17

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Main news - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Pakistan will not provide any support to U.S. forces if the United States attacks Iran, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in Islamabad at a press conference with the presidents of Afghanistan and Iran following a trilateral summit

* German President Christian Wulff resigned amid a scandal over a home loan he received when he was the head of Lower Saxony state

* The United States extended its sanctions against Iran, the State Department reported

RUSSIA

* Lavish social spending promised by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his bid to return to the presidency will cost the federal budget at least 5.1 trillion rubles ($170 billion), the Central Bank said

* Russia will complete the first prototype of the new Armata main battle tank by 2013 and begin production and deliveries to the Russian Armed Forces in 2015, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the CEO of tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod Oleg Sienko told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the Lenta.ru news portal reported

BUSINESS

* Representatives of Russian agriculture are seeking compensation worth 400 billion rubles ($13 billion) due to Russia's accession to the WTO, Chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) Alexander Shokhin wrote in a letter to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, reports the Vedomosti newspaper

* Russia may give $10 billion to the International Monetary Fund to support the crisis-hit euro zone, Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov said

* The U.S. hotel operator Marriott International plans to open up to 20 hotels in Russia by 2015, Head of Russia's Transstroibank Petr Chitipakhovyan, which partly finances the project, said

SPORTS

* Anzhi Makhachkala confirmed the signing of Dutch coach Guus Hiddink to an 18-month contract with the billionaire-run club from Dagestan.

* Former Russia coach Guus Hiddink has signed a contract to coach Anzhi Makhachkala, becoming the latest global name to arrive at the newly rich club from Dagestan, Dutch magazine Voetbal International reported

* Vitali Klitschko is suggesting that the 12-year age gap between him and WBC heavyweight title challenger Dereck Chisora could cause the Ukrainian champion problems in their title bout Saturday

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