The United States relocates the operations of its embassy in Ukraine from the capital Kiev to the west city of Lviv, secretary of State Antony Blinken says on Monday, referring to “the dramatic acceleration in building of Russian forces. »
the move comes as US officials warn that Moscow could launch a attack on Ukraine, including on Kiev, any day, after raising more more than 100,000 soldiers near the eastern border of the former Soviet Republic and more forces in Belarus to north.
blinken said in a statement on decision has been taken out of worry for the safety of the personnel from the embassy. Most members of the personnel from the embassy have already were ordered to leave Ukraine and US citizens were asked to leave the country.
“My team and I constantly review the security situation to determine when caution dictates a change in posture,” Blinken said, adding that Washington would continue to work for a diplomatic solution to the tensions.
Embassy operations have been temporarily moved to Lviv, about 80 kilometers from Ukraine’s western border with Poland – but the embassy remain engaged with Ukrainian government in Kyiv, Blinken said.
United States also said on Monday that he did not believe Russian leader Vladimir Putin had made a “final decision” on if he were to invade Ukraine, but he “could move with little or not warning.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also told reporters that US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin plans leave for Europe on Tuesday.
Austin will hold meetings at NATO Headquarters in Brussels and visit Poland and Lithuania, he said.
Addressing a Potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kirby said “we still don’t believe that some final decision has been made.”
“Military action can happen anytime,” he said. added. “It’s exactly possible that he could move with little or not warning.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States had seen “no tangible evidence sign of de-escalation” at the Russian-Ukrainian border.
“We believe diplomacy continues to be viable,” Price said.
“We believe there is still remains a window for resolve this through dialogue and diplomacy,” he told reporters.
At the Pentagon, Kirby separately called out China over it’s “unspoken support” for Moscow in the Ukrainian stalemate.
“Their tacit support if you want, for Russia is deeply alarming and frankly even more destabilizing to the security situation in European,” he said.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden have agreed in a call Monday that a “crucial window for diplomacy” remained over crisis in Ukraine, Johnson’s office noted.
“They agreed that there remained a crucial window for diplomacy and for Russia to step back of his threats to Ukraine,” a Downing Street spokesman said. added of the call between transatlantic allies.
“Leaders stressed that any further incursion into Ukraine result in a prolonged crisis for Russia, with considerable damage for both Russia and world.”
The two leaders also pointed out that the diplomatic discussions with Russia remained “the first priority”, and welcomed the talks that have already taken place between Russia and NATO allies, according to the spokesman.
“They agreed that the Western allies should remain United in the face of Russian threats, including the imposition of a major package of punishments should Russian aggression is intensifying,” he said. added.
“They also reiterated the need for European countries at reduce their addiction on Russian gas, a move Who, more than any other, would strike at the heart of Russia’s strategic interests.”
The talk, the latest among world focused leaders on crisis in Ukraine, comes after US intelligence officials warned a invasion by Moscow in son western neighbor could be days away. Russia massaged more more than 100,000 soldiers near its Ukrainian border and in neighboring Belarus, where they carried out joint exercises.
Earlier Monday, Johnson urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to step back from edge of a precipice,” calling the situation “very, very dangerous” while speaking to reporters on a visit to Scotland.
The British leader said he had no plans to visit Moscow, but that he would discuss the crisis with “various leaders” soon.
Meanwhile, the Turkish airline Turkish Airlines (THY) also announced that “due to the current situation in Ukraine, passengers who have plane tickets purchased before February 13, 2022 (inclusive) and for Turkish Airlines flights to/from Ukraine between February 13, 2022 and February 28, 2022 (inclusive) have gained the additional change and refund rights.”