Don’t ‘whip up tension,’ Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry urges, as some Western diplomats evacuate from Ukraine

27 January 2022, 02:53 PM

Ukraine’s foreign allies should refrain from publicly taking steps that would “whip up tension in the information field and undermine society,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a comment issued on Jan. 26. 

In the comment, the Foreign Ministry said it welcomes the decision of the majority of foreign embassies to continue normal diplomatic operations in the country, even as Ukraine faces the looming threat of a further Russian invasion.

“At the same time, we continue close cooperation with partners to assess further risks and threats of Russian aggression,” the ministry said.

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Former Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States and France, Oleh Shamshur, in a comment to the Radio NV radio station, stated that a departure of staff from Russian diplomatic institutions would signal clear evidence of Russia was preparing to invade Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry reported on Jan. 24 that only four nations had announced plans to evacuate part of their embassy staff or family members of diplomatic staff because of the threat of Russian invasion. These are the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany.

Prior to that, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said it had issued voluntary evacuation orders for embassy staff, and mandatory evacuations for staff families, though the embassy stressed that it would be continuing business as normal despite the evacuations.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry in turn called the U.S. decision to evacuate the families of embassy staff from Ukraine “premature.”

The Embassy of France in Kyiv said it had taken note of the U.S. move to evacuate family members of diplomatic staff, and is ready to adapt its position depending on the security situation.

In addition, the United Kingdom announced that it had started withdrawing staff from its embassy in Ukraine amid growing fears of a Russian invasion.

The Embassy of Japan in Ukraine said it has no plans to evacuate employees and their families from Ukraine yet.

The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell emphasized that the EU is not following the United States in withdrawing its diplomats’ families from Ukraine, adding that there is no need to “dramatize” the situation while talks with Russia continue.

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