US withdraws presence of Ukraine embassy
WASHINGTON – The State Department on Sunday ordered the families of all American staff at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid fears of a Russian invasion.
The department has told dependents of staff at the US Embassy in Kyiv that they must leave the country. It also said that non-essential embassy staff could leave Ukraine at the government’s expense.
The move comes as rising tensions over Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border have not yet been eased during Friday’s talks between Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva.
Foreign Ministry officials stressed that the Kyiv embassy would remain open and that the announcement did not constitute an evacuation. The move has been under consideration for some time, officials said, and does not reflect a reduction in US support for Ukraine.
In a statement, the State Department noted recent reports that Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused NATO countries of escalating tensions around Ukraine with false information.
The State Department added: “Security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and could deteriorate. if not noticed. Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”
The travel advisory, which has warned against traveling to Ukraine because of COVID-19 as well as tensions over Russia, was changed on Sunday to issue a stronger warning.
“Do not travel to Ukraine due to increased threats from Russian military action and COVID-19. Extra caution is needed in Ukraine due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas are at increased risk,” he said. Department of recommendations.