Daily Memo: Tensions in Northern Iraq, Budget Pressure in Russia

Baghdad is frustrated over Turkish strikes on Kurdish groups in northern Iraq.

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Tensions in northern Iraq. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad following Turkey’s drone strikes on Tuesday in Iraq’s northeast Sidakan region. A visit by the Turkish defense minister to Baghdad has also been canceled. Iraq deployed troops to reinforce the border in the north and instructed Kurdish fighters not to interfere in the deployment. The government in Baghdad has been critical of Turkey’s Operation Claw, which targets Kurdish insurgents in Iraq’s northeast, ever since the operation began, arguing that it’s a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The Turkish ambassador to Baghdad has already been summoned twice this year over other alleged violations involving the Turkish campaign. The strikes came ahead of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s visit next week to Washington, where he will meet with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss the status of coalition forces in Iraq, reform and austerity measures, and security matters. Every ruble counts. As part of Moscow’s efforts to raise much-needed funds for its budget, the Russian government is negotiating a tax increase to 15 percent on dividends and interest accrued from Russian companies in Hong Kong and Switzerland. On Monday, the Finance Ministry said it had completed talks to amend double […]

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