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US Closing Embassy in Kyiv Ahead of Looming Russian Invasion

February 14, 2022 by Dan McCue
<strong></img>US Closing Embassy in Kyiv Ahead of Looming Russian Invasion</strong>
Ukrainians attend a rally in central Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, during a protest against the potential escalation of the tension between Russia and Ukraine. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

WASHINGTON — The United States is temporarily relocating its embassy operations in Ukraine, moving them from Kyiv to Lviv in the western half of the country “due to the dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Monday.

The Biden administration has been warning for days that an invasion could happen at any moment, with a possible launch date being Wednesday, citing intelligence picked up over the weekend.

An hourlong phone call between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday did nothing to ease tensions. Biden spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday.

In a written statement shared with the press, Blinken said he has “no higher priority than the safety and security of Americans around the world, and that, of course, includes our colleagues serving at our posts overseas.”

Blinken emphasized the embassy will remain engaged with the Ukrainian government, coordinating diplomatic engagement in Ukraine. The U.S. is also continuing its intensive diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the crisis.

“These prudent precautions in no way undermine our support for or our commitment to Ukraine,” the secretary of state said. “Our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering. 

“We also continue our sincere efforts to reach a diplomatic solution, and we remain engaged with the Russian government following President Biden’s call with President Putin and my discussion with [Russian] Foreign Minister Lavrov. 

“The path for diplomacy remains available if Russia chooses to engage in good faith. We look forward to returning our staff to the embassy as soon as conditions permit,” Blinken said.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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