U.S. Embassy Kyiv in Ukraine will remain operational, U.S. State Department says – Reuters

Earlier on Sunday, the US State Department ordered the families of US diplomats and some of its diplomatic staff in Kyiv, Ukraine to leave the country.

“On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct-hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from the Embassy in Kyiv due to the continued threat of action Russian military,” the statement said. “US citizens in Ukraine should consider leaving now using commercial or private transportation.”

The senior US State Department official later told a press conference that the US diplomatic mission would continue its duties in Kyiv and that Kristina Kvien, charge d’affaires at the US Embassy in Ukraine, would stay in the country. .

“The United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering,” the official said at a press briefing, TASS reported.

“The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continues to operate and Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien remains in Ukraine.”

The official also said that the United States would continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine and that in the event of any escalation, “the United States will provide additional defensive equipment to Ukraine in addition to that already provided. “.

The US State Department has released an updated list of travel recommendations for its citizens advising against travel to Russia due to an alleged rise in tensions on the country’s border with Ukraine, according to a statement.

“The State Department has reissued the travel advisory for Russia to include information about ongoing tensions along the border with Ukraine,” the statement said. “This replaces the previous travel advisory issued on November 2, 2021.”

The updated list of travel recommendations specifically states: “Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tensions along the border with Ukraine, potential for harassment against U.S. citizens, limited Embassy to assist U.S. citizens in Russia from COVID-19 and entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security agents, and arbitrary enforcement of local law.”

The U.S. State Department document also states, “Due to Russia’s increased military presence and ongoing military exercises along the border region with Ukraine, U.S. citizens located or planning to travel to districts of the Russian Federation bordering Ukraine should be aware that the situation along the border is unpredictable and there is increased tension.”

“Given the current volatility of the situation, U.S. citizens are strongly discouraged from traveling by land from Russia to Ukraine through this region,” the statement continued. “Furthermore, throughout Russia there is potential for harassment of foreigners, including through regulations specifically targeting foreigners.”

“The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is already severely limited…” the U.S. State Department announced, adding that “the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a level 4 travel health notice for Russia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.”

The press service of the US Embassy in Ukraine reported on January 22 that a shipment of military cargo, including ammunition, weighing more than 90 tons had arrived in Ukraine. The embassy noted that last year the United States provided more than $650 million in military aid to Ukraine since 2014, while the country received $2.7 billion for such purposes.

Last Thursday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba confirmed Western media reports that Kiev would receive $200 million in military aid from Washington. He noted that the country had received a total sum of $650 million for such purposes from the United States last year.

Western and Ukrainian media have recently echoed claims of alleged Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Russian President’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has previously called the statements “empty and baseless”, saying their aim was to stir up tensions.

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