The Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, announced this Monday the relocation of the American embassy in Kiev to the largest city in the west of the country, Lviv, which is near the border with Poland. According to the State Department, the decision responds to a “geographical” issue and therefore “security” against the threat of an invasion by Russia.
“We are in the process of temporarily relocating our embassy operations in Ukraine from Kiev to Lviv due to the dramatic acceleration in the build-up of Russian forces“Blinken said in a statement.
The newspaper The Wall Street Journal has reported that the State Department has ordered the destruction of computers and other networking equipment at the Kiev embassy, as well as the dismantling of the telephone system.
The move comes after the United States has warned that Moscow could launch a attack on Ukraine at any timeafter deploy more than 100,000 troops near the border of the former Soviet republic and more troops in Belarus.
The Pentagon spokesman stated this Monday that he does not believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a decision on whether to invade Ukrainealthough he stresses that it is “entirely possible” that he does a move with little or no warning.
Calls for Americans to leave Ukraine “immediately”
The Secretary of State has stressed that the embassy “will continue committed to the Ukrainian governmentcoordinating diplomatic engagement” in Ukraine and will continue with its “intense diplomatic efforts to reduce the crisis“.
In the statement, Blinken has once again called on Americans residing in Ukraine to “leave the country immediately” and has reported that those seeking emergency assistance in Ukraine must fill out a form “and the State Department will follow up, as appropriate“.
For his part, the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, has indicated that the travel warnings and the transfer of the embassy have been decisions made with the safety of “American citizens in mind”.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, already warned this Thursday that American citizens should leave the country before the tension degenerates into an open conflict.
This Monday, Price also announced that US citizens must leave Belarus due to troop buildup Russians along the border.
The “unwavering” US commitment to Ukraine
The Secretary of State has also stressed that the measures taken by Washington “in no way undermine our support or our commitment to Ukraine”.
“Our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine it’s unbreakable“, highlighted Blinken, who stressed that the United States will continue with its “sincere efforts to reach a diplomatic solution“.
“The path of diplomacy remains available if Russia decides to participate in good faith. We hope that our staff will return to the embassy as soon as conditions allow,” he added.
In a press conference, the State Department spokesman stressed that the United States does not see “tangible signs” of a decrease in Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.