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Tensions Rise Over Russia's Downing Of A U.S. Drone

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

The diplomatic spat continues over Russia’s downing of a U.S. drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday. While the Russians deny having come into contact with the drone, EU officials say two Russian Su-27 aircraft were flying over international waters over the Black Sea and dumped fuel on the drone, flying in front of it, hitting the propeller and forcing it down. Moscow warned the U.S. to refrain from media “speculation” and flying near Russia’s borders. The incident has sparked talk of escalation between Russia and NATO. Ukraine has since reported that Russia has deployed 20 ships to the Black Sea, including missile carriers and auxiliary fleet ships, which are ostensibly being used to search for the downed drone, whose technology Washington is hoping to keep out of Moscow’s hands.

We have noted in earlier briefings this year that Baghdad appeared to be letting up on its legal pressure on Erbil over the Kurds’ unilateral oil activities, and this week we saw more concrete movement on that front. Iraq’s new prime minister, Mohammed Al-Sudani, said earlier this week that the two sides had reached a comprehensive agreement and that total oil revenues for oil produced in the Iraqi Region of Kurdistan are being deposited into a bank account supervised by Baghdad, the Federal government. At the same time, the Iraqi PM ensured the transfer of some $300 million to the Kurdish government, despite…

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