Daily Memo: Russia Sends Reinforcements to Nagorno-Karabakh

Eight helicopters will join Russian troops already deployed to the region.

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Russian reinforcements. Russia will deploy eight helicopters to monitor the cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of its peacekeeping mission there. Meanwhile, Turkey insists that it will participate in the mission, despite Russian claims to the contrary. Shifting focus. Russia is closing its trade missions in Ukraine and Lithuania. It also plans, however, to reopen a trade mission in Damascus, Syria, by the end of the year and to allocate $1 billion for humanitarian aid, including the restoration of power grids and industry. Biden’s affirmations. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden fielded congratulatory calls from a number of U.S. Indo-Pacific allies on Wednesday. With Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Biden reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan defense alliance under his administration will still cover the hotly contested Senkaku Islands, which China also claims. This may sound routine, but the U.S. never confirmed as much until the Obama administration. And since the U.S. keeps its treaty commitments intentionally, these sorts of clarifications can carry a lot of weight. Philippine commitments. Also on Wednesday, the Duterte administration extended the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement with the U.S. for another six months. Scrapping it would be a strange move. Business deals. During a meeting between Kazakh officials and Turkish […]

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