Presidential representative in the State Duma Alexander Kotenkov thinks that words to a new national anthem may be approved at the spring session of the lower house of the parliament. Answering RBC's question whether new words to Alexandrov's music may be written by the New Year, Kotenkov noted, "There are chances, but very little." According to him, at present a special commission is working on several hundreds if not thousands of anthem's variants. The commission is to choose such a variant where there would be allusions to historic events with no ideological moments able to raise disputes and dislikes. At the same time, he stressed that the president was ready to introduce the text of a new anthem to the State Duma even today, but he thought that it might become "an apple of discord" and might frustrate the reached compromise. Thus, the president delayed the introduction of a bill on the new text to the national anthem for a better moment.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime