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United Kingdom, United States Start Withdrawing Families of Their Diplomats from Kyiv

London has begun to withdraw some of its embassy staff in Ukraine due to the invasion threat from the Russian Federation.

“Some Embassy staff and dependants are being withdrawn from Kyiv in response to growing threat from Russia. The British Embassy remains open and will continue to carry out essential work,” reads the statement released on the website of the British government.

According to officials, British diplomats have received no special threats, but about half of the staff working in Kyiv will return to the UK.

It also became known that the United States Department of State authorised the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees and ordered the departure of their family members at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

The relevant information was published by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Authorised departure gives these employees the option to depart if they wish; their departure is not required. Ordered departure for family members requires that family members leave the country.

“The Department of State made the decision to authorise departure from Mission Ukraine out of an abundance of caution due to continued Russian efforts to destabilise the country and undermine the security of Ukrainian citizens and others visiting or residing in Ukraine.  We have been in consultation with the Ukrainian government about this step and are coordinating with Allied and partner embassies in Kyiv as they determine their posture,” reads the statement.

The United States stresses that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv remains open for regular operations.

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday, 24 January, that he saw no reason to evacuate the families of diplomats from Ukraine.

“We are not going to do the same as the United States because we do not know any specific reasons,” Borrell said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine took note of the information about the departure of some diplomats and members of their families but considers such a step “premature and a manifestation of excessive caution.” The Ministry underscores that there have been no actual changes in the security situation recently.

Bohdan Marusyak

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