Daily Memo: Russian Military Drills Around the Caucasus, Brexit Latest

Six Russian warships started drills in the Caspian near Azerbaijan's capital.

Russian drills in the Caspian. The Russian navy’s Caspian Flotilla, together with aircraft from the country’s nearby Southern Military District, began exercises in the Caspian Sea on Friday. The six warships, seven aircraft and more than 400 servicemen are active just north of the Absheron Peninsula, where Azerbaijan’s capital is located. Russia also started joint coastal defense drills in the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia involving motorized infantry, artillery, tanks and air defense personnel. This comes as reports of cease-fire violations between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus continue to roll in. Reading between the lines. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom should gird itself for a no-deal exit from the European Union’s customs union and single market on Jan. 1. Johnson had last month set an Oct. 15 deadline for a breakthrough in talks, but at a summit of EU national leaders on Thursday the bloc took no notice and pledged only to keep talking. The most significant part about the prime minister’s statement, however, is what he didn’t say: that he was breaking off talks. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted in response that EU negotiators would, as scheduled, be in London […]

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