Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry says only four nations have announced departure of diplomats and families from Ukraine

25 January 2022, 02:54 PM

Only four nations have announced plans to evacuate part of their embassy staff or family members of diplomatic staff because of the threat of Russian invasion, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry wrote on Facebook on Jan. 24.

These are the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany, the ministry said.

"Other states, the European Union, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the UN, NATO, and representative offices of other international and regional organizations have informed the Foreign Ministry that they have no plans to evacuate or reduce personnel at this stage, given the lack of sufficient reasons for such a step,” the report says.

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The Ukrainian diplomats said countries that have diplomatic missions close to Ukraine’s borders with Russia have also taken this position.

“We express our gratitude to those of our international partners who have soberly assessed the current situation and have not resorted to premature evacuation measures.”

“This is a real manifestation of solidarity with Ukraine,” the ministry wrote.Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said at a briefing on Jan. 24 that no active departures from the country had been observed at the present time.“

The only thing we can say is that there was a huge disinformation wave that the staff of Russian diplomatic institutions were leaving our country en masse – we did not observe this,” he said.

Earlier, 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.”

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

As reported by the BBC, officials say there have been no specific threats to British diplomats, but about half of the staff working in Kyiv will return to the UK.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has offered assistance to the families of embassy staff, as well as those of German organizations, to leave the country.

At the same time, the German Embassy in Kyiv will continue working to provide consular services, the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel wrote on Jan. 24, quoting German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christopher Burger as saying.

The governments of Japan, France and Australia recommend that their citizens refrain from traveling to Ukraine.

Top European diplomat Josep Borrell emphasized that the European Union 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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