the risk of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is high enough to warrant leaving of many of the personnel from the American Embassy in Kyiv, Secretary of the United States of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday as Australia and Canada began evacuating their diplomats following Western allies.
” Diplomacy path remains open. the way for Moscow to show that he wants to continue this path Is simple. This should defuse rather than escalate,” Blinken said. on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Australian and Canadian governments followed the United States in suspending operations in their embassies in Kiev, fearing that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent.
“Given the deterioration of the security situation caused by accumulation of Russian troops on border of Ukraine, the government ordered the departure of personnel from the Australian Embassy in Kyiv and operations temporarily suspended at our Embassy in Kyiv,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said. in a Sunday statement, adding that embassy operations would be temporarily moved to Ukraine city of Lviv, located further west than the capital, according to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Canada made a similar announcement on on Saturday, namely that the operations of the country’s embassy would be move from Kyiv to Lviv. Saturday, the United States announced he withdrew the most of son personnel embassy in the Ukrainian capital.
Consular services at the embassy will cease beginning Sunday, the State Department said, while some members of the personnel would be transferred to Lviv, located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the Polish border.
United States Staff of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) began to withdraw in car rebels city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine on On Sunday, a Reuters witness said, amid fears of a possible Russian invasion. The OSCE did not respond to a request for comment. In the most grand security center never organized by the OSCE missionobservers monitor the application of a ceasefirefire for eastern Ukraine, under a largely stalled peace plan, both sides trade accusations of offences.
A number of countries advised their citizens in Ukraine will leave the country after Washington’s announcement on friday one invasion could happen in the coming days. United States government said he was considering a Russian incursion into Ukraine possible before closing of the Winter Olympics in China on February 20.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on Israelis to leave Ukraine as soon like possible.
“We dont do know what will be the developments between Russia and Ukraine. Like the rest of the world, we hope that the tension will end without escalation; however, our primary obligation is to take care of our Israeli citizens,” Bennett said. says. Significantly more flights from Ukraine to Israel are available says. “Here again I call on Israelis in Ukraine: return home!”
“Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t wait for a situation in that you will like very much want return but will not be able to do so. To be responsible for your lives and leave Ukraine as quickly as possible and come home.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told the military to prepare for the possibility of Israelis evacuated from Ukraine, son office says. during this time
Meanwhile, Kiev is preparing for troubles, with the capital’s mayor, Vitalo Klitschko, told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that residents “are preparing for the worst.”
He said the international community should be aware that the geopolitical ambitions of Russian President Vladimir Putin extended in the Baltic States and that Ukraine was ‘just the beginning’. His comments preceded of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s planned visits to Kyiv and Moscow early next week, the latest in a string of the efforts of world leaders to defuse the conflict.
Forward of his first visits as chancellor to Kyiv on Monday and Moscow on On Tuesday, Scholz renewed son warning to Russia, as well as son advocacy of pursuit of diplomacy in several formats.
“It’s our job to ensure that we prevent a war in Europe, in that we send a clear message to Russia that everything military aggression would have consequences that would be very high for Russia and its prospects, and that we are united with our allies,” Scholz told the German parliament’supper house on Friday. “But at the same time also understand using all the opportunities for talks and more development”Scholz said.
Scholz has repeatedly stated that Moscow will pay a “heavy price” in the event of an attack but son governmentrefusal to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine or to spell out which would punish support against Russia has drawn reviews abroad and home and raised questions about Berlin resolve in upright up in Russia.
Germany’s reluctant stance is partly rooted in son history of aggression during the 20 century when the country’s own militarization in Europe for two world wars led many post-war German leaders to view any military very answer last appeal.
Despite this historical burden, experts say it is of utmost importance now that Scholz is pointing out that Germany is in to sychronize with its European and American allies, especially when it encounters with Putin.
“Scholz must convey a very clear message in Moscow, and that can only really be: there is unity and unity in the western alliance. There is no possibility of drive a wedge in the Western alliance, and this must be understood in Moscow. I think that’s the most important message he has to convey there,” said Markus Ziener, an expert with the German Marshall Fund.
“At the same time, he must succeed clear that the costs are high”, Ziener added, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). “It’s basically the message that’s most likely to catch on in Moscow too. So a military invasion of Ukraine has significant consequences for Russia.”
Scholz did not explicitly say what genre of consequences or sanctions that Russia should face if he invades Ukraine, but that’s clear that the future of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline that seeks to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine, is at stake. Biden threatened last week that the pipeline would be blocked in the case of a invasion.
Russia focused more more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border and launched a series of military maneuvers in the region but says it does not have plans invade the nation.
Moscow wants guarantees from the West that NATO won’t allow Ukraine and others former Soviet countries at join as members, and for the alliance to stop arms deployments in Ukraine and roll back its forces from Eastern Europe. The United States and NATO categorically reject these demands.
It would hurt Russia economically, but also cause to supply problems for Germany. Construction of the pipeline is complete, but not yet operating.
“Germany doesn’t have much influence, except for saying he won’t approve of Nord Stream 2, which is the only political lever,” Claudia Kemfert, the head of the Department of energy, transport and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research, says.
“Otherwise, Germany is very susceptible to blackmail. We can’t do too much. We are committed to supplying ourselves with gas, unlike other European countries. countries we did not diversify our gas supplies and we dragged our feet on the energy transition. So on did a lot of things wrong and now we pay the price”, Kemfert added.
It is therefore not surprising that Scholz underlined the need to maintain some ambiguity over sanctions to urge Russia to defuse and has so far avoided mentioning Nord Stream 2 specifically.
“The hesitation of Olaf Scholz obviously leads to the fact this one is not really know what the Germans do with it want”, Ziener said. “As far as Nord Stream 2 is concerned, I think there is should have been a clear statement that if it is a military intervention, then Nord Stream 2 is off Table.”
Request on Friday if Scholz will take it new initiative in Kiev and Moscow or the positions that are already on Table, son spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, replied that he would stick with “the positions we have already set out.”
Scholz can only hope that in his talks with Putin, he can dissuade him from taking military action with a face-saving solution, says Ziener.
“He can actually only hope that in the end of this all round of negotiations, there will be a success, that war is prevented. Then Scholz will be praised for his negotiation skills” Ziener added. “If not, the question will be asked: what was really the line of the German government?”