Washington: The United States on Monday released a statement that it is sending all of its diplomats in Ukraine to Poland out of security fears, hours after President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian military into two rebel-backed regions in the nation.
Earlier, the Kremlin leader recognized the independence of two rebel-held areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk areas of Ukraine. He then instructed his defence ministry to assume a “peacekeeping” role in the separatist regions.
As per the statement released by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “Today the Department of State is again taking action for the safety and security of U.S. citizens, including our personnel. For security reasons, Department of State personnel currently in Lviv will spend the night in Poland.”
He said that, “We strongly reiterate our recommendation to U.S. citizens to depart Ukraine immediately. The security situation in Ukraine continues to be unpredictable throughout the country and may deteriorate with little notice.”
The move comes just a week after the U.S. relocated its embassy in Kyiv to Lviv, citing the “dramatic acceleration” in the build-up of Russia’s forces on the board.
Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy in Kyiv had already reduced its staff after the United States ordered the departure of most diplomats and halted consular services.
A very small consular presence was already in place in Lviv, about 70 kilometres (45 miles) from the Polish border.
At the same time, Russia’s recognition of the breakaway republics, which formed an enclave held by Moscow-backed rebels since 2014, triggered international condemnation and an assurance of targeted sanctions from the United States and the European Union, with a broader package of economic punishment to come in the event of invasion.