Kyiv: U.S. decision to authorize departure of American diplomats from Ukraine is premature

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers the decision of the U.S. Department of State to authorize departure of the personnel of the American Embassy in Kyiv to be premature, said the speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oleg Nikolenko.

"While respecting the right of foreign states to ensure the security of their diplomatic missions, we consider such a step by the American side premature and a manifestation of excessive precaution," said Nikolenko.

Nikolenko noted that in fact, there have been no cardinal changes in the security situation recently. The threat of new waves of Russian aggression has remained constant since 2014, and the buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border began in April last year.

Nikolenko also added that the decision of the U.S. Department of State does not mean that all employees of the American Embassy will now leave Ukraine. The Embassy will continue to work as usual.

Nikolenko urged Ukrainians to treat with understanding the recommendations to US citizens to register their travel itineraries on the website of the Department of State. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recommends that Ukrainians register their itineraries in a similar system "FRIEND”. This is a common international practice of maintaining consular communication with the citizens.

"The Russian Federation is now making active efforts to destabilize the internal situation in Ukraine. A large amount of disinformation, manipulation and fake news is spread in the Ukrainian and international media space in order to sow panic among Ukrainians and foreigners, scare business, undermine economic and financial stability. In this situation, it is important to soberly assess the risks and remain calm. The President of Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and all Ukrainian diplomacy are now consolidating the unprecedentedly high support of Ukraine from international partners in order to restrain the Russian Federation from its aggressive actions, to ensure the safety of Ukrainian citizens and the country. In this context, we are especially grateful to the U.S. government for its proactive diplomatic position and strengthening of Ukraine's defense capabilities, in particular, the supply of advanced weapons and equipment," the Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized.

The U.S. Department of State authorized the departure of its diplomats from the embassy in Kyiv "as a special precaution due to Russia's constant efforts to destabilize the country and undermine security." Diplomats themselves can leave at their discretion, but it’s mandatory that their family members leave Ukraine.

Estonian Ambassador to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk said that, unlike the Americans, Estonia will not evacuate its diplomats.

  USA, Ukraine, Russia

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