On Sunday, the State Department instructed the families of all US embassy staff in Ukraine to leave the country in the face of heightened fears of a Russian invasion.
The department told U.S. embassy staff in Kiev that they should leave the country. It was also reported that technical staff at the embassy could leave Ukraine at government expense.
The move comes amid growing tensions over the escalation of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, which was not eased during talks between Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Friday, the department said.
Foreign Ministry officials insisted that the Kiev embassy remain open and that the announcement was not an eviction. The move has been under consideration for some time and does not reflect a decline in US support for Ukraine, officials said.
U.S. citizens currently living in Ukraine are encouraged to consider leaving the country on commercial flights.
These recommendations were met with dissatisfaction by some Ukrainian officials. Some of them suspect that Russia is planning an attack, but instead believe that it continues to increase pressure to destabilize the country.
Source: abcnews.go.com, PAP
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