Top NATO official waves off withdrawing personnel from Ukraine for now

25 January 2022, 03:26 PM

No decision has yet been taken to remove NATO personnel from Ukraine amid the growing threat of a Russian invasion, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Jan. 24.

Stoltenberg also said that the decision to evacuate personnel from Ukraine is “a national decision” to be taken by each country individually.

NATO personnel are currently operating in two offices in Kyiv, according to the Secretary General. He added that NATO’s leadership was monitoring the situation in Ukraine very closely, but a decision to evacuate staff has not been taken yet.

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Earlier this week, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said it was reducing staff in Ukraine, and ordered a mandatory evacuation for families of embassy staff, but said that the embassy would remain open.

Ukraine’s Foreign Office said the State Department’s decision to evacuate diplomats’ family members was “premature.”.

The UK has also started withdrawing embassy staff from Ukraine. The BBC reported that, according to their sources, half of the UK’s consular personnel had returned to the UK, despite there not being any specific threats against them.

At the same time, the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the EU was not planning to evacuate staff or their families from Ukraine at the present time.

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