(Reuters) – The United States is finalizing plans to send an advanced Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, US officials said, while allies have pledged just over 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) to help Ukrainians survive the harsh winter. read more
Diplomacy / Economics / Assistance
Three US officials told Reuters on Tuesday that the United States is finalizing plans to send a Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, a move that could be announced this week.
Nearly 70 countries and institutions in Paris have pledged more than 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) to help keep water, food, energy, health and transport out of Ukraine in the face of Russian attacks, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said.
* US officials said that while Washington is sending US-sourced energy equipment to Ukraine to help the country’s power grid recover from Russian attacks, it is also seeking such supplies around the world.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will hold talks to discuss the events of 2022 in late December, Russian business newspaper Vedomosti reports.
– Italy’s defense minister has told parliament that arms supplies from Italy to Ukraine will stop once peace talks to end the Russian invasion begin, as lawmakers backed the government’s decision to extend military aid throughout 2023.
Russia has rejected a peace proposal by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that includes the withdrawal of Russian forces, saying Kiev must come to terms with new regional “realities”.
– The Kiev Ministry of Infrastructure said that eight ships loaded with grain left ports in Ukraine’s Odessa region after a temporary stop due to a power outage in the wake of the Russian missile strikes.
* Britain said it imposed sanctions on 12 Russian military leaders involved in missile strikes on Ukrainian cities as well as Iranian businessmen involved in the production and supply of military drones used in the attacks.
* Russia and Ukraine bombed each other’s forces during heavy fighting around the small eastern town of Bakhmut.
* Ukrainians who left Pakhmut this week described near-constant Russian shelling that forced residents to hide in basements and sleep in the freezing cold.
* Reuters could not independently verify reports of attacks or deaths on either side.
* Belarus, a close ally of Russia, announced rapid military inspections, including increased combat readiness in the country’s south, during the latest in a series of exercises that have alarmed neighboring Ukraine.
Friday Himani Sarkar. Editing by Michael Perry
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