Relatives of US embassy personnel in Kiev have to leave Ukraine. All other US citizens are also being advised to consider leaving due to the continued threat of Russian military action, the US State Department said in a statement.
There is no question of an evacuation of American citizens. However, they may now consider taking a commercial flight from Ukraine, the statement said. Non-essential embassy personnel also have the option to leave.
The ministry emphasizes that the American embassy in Kiev will remain open and that the US remains fully behind Ukraine.
Since last fall, Russia has built up a force of more than 100,000 troops around the border with Ukraine. This month there were several talks between Russia and NATO or the US about the heightened tensions. Moscow demands, among other things, a guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO.
On Friday, there was another meeting in Geneva between the foreign ministers of Russia and the US, Antony Blinken and Sergei Lavrov. In all talks, both parties have not yet approached each other.
In recent days there have been reports that the US and Germany are making plans for a possible evacuation. Former Secretary General of NATO and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaap de Hoop Scheffer agrees The Netherlands must prepare for this, he said on the TV show yesterday Buitenhof.
Negative travel advice to Russia
The US State Department is also issuing a negative travel advice for Russia. US citizens may face intimidation in Russia due to rising tensions. The embassy also has limited options to help Americans in need.