The State Department ordered all American workers in the US Embassy in Ukraine and their families to leave the country on Sunday, citing increased concerns of a Russian invasion.
The agency informed workers’ dependents at the embassy in Kyiv that they needed to leave the country. It further said that non-essential embassy personnel might be allowed to depart Ukraine at the cost of the US government.
After negotiations in Geneva on Friday between Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov failed to defuse escalating tensions over Russia’s army deployment on the Ukraine border, the action was made.
The embassy in Kyiv will stay open, according to State Department officials, and the statement does not represent an evacuation. The decision has been in the works for some time and does not signal a shift in US support for Ukraine, according to officials.
The State Department issued a statement in response to recent rumors that Russia was considering major military action against Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry, for its part, has accused NATO nations of using misinformation to inflame tensions over Ukraine.
“Security situations, notably around Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and may worsen with little warning,” according to the State Department. Demonstrations, some of which have become violent, are held on a regular basis around Ukraine, including in Kyiv.”
The Department of State’s travel alert, which previously advised against going to Ukraine because of COVID-19 and Russian tensions, was elevated to a tougher warning on Sunday.
“Because of the increasing risks of Russian military action and COVID-19, do not go to Ukraine.” Due to criminality and civil upheaval in Ukraine, proceed with care. There are certain regions where the danger is higher “According to the department.
“Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law,” the travel advisory for Russia was also changed.
The State Department refused to reveal how many Americans are believed to be in Ukraine at the moment. When citizens of the United States arrive in another country or intend to remain for a lengthy amount of time, they are not needed to register with embassies.