Jan 25 (Reuters) – The United States and Germany are poised to provide a significant boost to Ukraine’s war effort with the delivery of heavy battle tanks, sources said, support that Russia condemned as “blatant provocation”.

WEAPONS, DIPLOMACY

* While there was no official confirmation from Berlin or Washington by late on Tuesday, officials in Kyiv hailed what they said was a potential gamechanger on the battlefield.

* The United States is poised to start a process that would eventually send dozens of M1 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine, two U.S. officials told Reuters.

* A Swiss parliamentary body proposed waiving a re-export ban that prevents ammunition it manufactures from being re-exported from another country to Ukraine.

* A delivery of tanks by the United States to Ukraine would be a “another blatant provocation” against Russia, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador, said.

* Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev hit back at Western reports that Russia was running low on missiles and artillery, saying it had enough weapons to fight in Ukraine.

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia, said he had been asked to conclude a non-aggression pact with Ukraine, the BelTa state news agency reported.

* The United States has determined that some Chinese companies are providing non-lethal assistance to Russia for use in the Ukraine war and officials are noting their concern to the Chinese government, a source familiar with the matter said.

POLITICS, ECONOMY

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy fired a slew of senior officials in Ukraine’s biggest political shake-up of the war, saying he needed to clean up internal problems that were hurting the country.

* Ukraine’s ruling party drew up a bill aiming to boost transparency in defence procurement after an army food contract became the focus of high-profile corruption allegations, according to parliament’s website.

* Democratic and Republican U.S. lawmakers praised Ukraine’s government for taking swift action.

* President Vladimir Putin said there were shortages of some medicines in Russia and that prices had gone up, despite the production of more of its own drugs.

* The Kremlin said it wanted skilled workers based abroad to return to Russia and work to benefit the country, after hundreds of thousands of people fled abroad in the past year.

* Ukraine’s prime minister said his country has enough coal and gas reserves for the remaining months of winter despite Russian attacks on its energy system.

Compiled by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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