The United States has ordered family members of its embassy to leave Ukraine on Sunday due to the threat of “significant military action” against the country by Russia.
The State Department said in a statement that all U.S. citizens should immediately consider leaving because “security conditions, especially along Ukraine’s borders, in Russian-occupied Crimea, and in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine are unpredictable and could deteriorate without notice. “.
Insignificant employees of the American government have the opportunity to leave Ukraine if they want.
The warning came after weeks of growing tensions along Ukraine’s eastern border, where Russia has gathered more than 100,000 troops.
Senior State Department officials said the travel order was not caused by new security threats, but by the fact that “Russia’s military action could come at any moment.” They said the U.S. government “will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens in such a case.” The embassy will remain open, they said.
Russia has warned of “the most unpredictable and serious consequences for European security” if the United States does not agree to its demands to give up NATO expansion.
The United States has sought to find common ground with Moscow on issues such as arms control. He vowed to send a written response to Russia’s draft security proposals this week after talks with Moscow in Geneva and Brussels failed to make progress.
But he warns that Russia’s fundamental complaints to the transatlantic military alliance – which would essentially change the entire post-Cold War security order if fulfilled – were unacceptable.
On Sunday, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, told CBS that the United States is still committed to diplomacy with Russia, but is building “defense and deterrence.”
“We have now provided more security assistance to Ukraine this year than in any previous year. We have gathered allies and partners around the world. “We are preparing huge consequences for Russia if it attacks Ukraine again,” he told NBC.
U.S. officials reiterated that Washington is developing plans to strengthen NATO members on Europe’s eastern wing. The New York Times reported that Pentagon officials presented Biden with one option that involved initially sending up to 5,000 U.S. troops to Eastern Europe, as well as warships and aircraft. The White House and the Pentagon declined to comment on specific details.
The American and European allies promised sanctions to Russia for the aggression against Ukraine and tried to expose its plans by publishing selected intelligence, but they had a hard time agreeing on how to respond.
Blinken said the U.S. had been “concerned” for weeks about Russian tactics in the country that included President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to replace the Kiev government.
Moscow’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine were “part of the Russian book,” he said, after the United Kingdom issued a stern warning of an alleged conspiracy to set up a puppet government in Kiev.
The British Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development said in an unusual statement late Saturday that it has evidence that Russia plans to appoint a pro-Moscow leader in Ukraine.
It named the figure preferred by the Kremlin as Yevhen Murayev, a former Ukrainian MP who owns a major TV station but did not provide evidence. Muraev rejected that claim.
Russia’s foreign ministry has dismissed the allegations as “nonsense” and accused Britain of escalating tensions over Ukraine.
The Russian embassy in London said: “The logic is simple: let not a day go by without accusing Russia of preparing an ‘imminent’ invasion of Ukraine and, on this fictitious ‘basis’, try to play the ideological leader of the ‘free world’ defending itself against autocrats. ‘.
Tensions among Western allies resurfaced over the weekend at the helm of the German navy resigned after saying that Putin “wants only respect” and that Crimea – which was annexed to Russia in 2014 – will never be returned to Ukraine.
Blinken insisted that “Germans share our concerns” about Russian aggression and that they are part of a united front between Europe and the United States.
“I am very confident that there will be a single response to everything Russia does,” he said, whether Moscow is sending forces to Ukraine or resorting to “hybrid actions, cyber attacks, efforts to overthrow the government,” he told CBS.
additional reporting by James Politi in Washington