Annalena Baerbock distances herself from the USA

DAccording to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Germany is prepared for an evacuation of the embassy in Kiev, but does not consider this necessary at the present time. “The safety of employees has top priority,” said Baerbock when she arrived in Brussels in the morning for consultations with EU foreign ministers. One is “prepared for any situation” and coordinates closely with the European partners. However, one should not “contribute to further uncertainty in the situation, but it is important to continue to support the Ukrainian government and, above all, to maintain the stability of the country.”

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Baerbock distanced himself from the United States. The US State Department on Sunday ordered family members of embassy employees to leave Ukraine because of the risk of “significant military action”. Non-essential personnel have been given the option to do this.

Borell: “One must not dramatize”

“Foreign Minister Blinken will explain the reasons for this decision to us,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday morning. “We will not do the same because we don’t know any specific reasons for it.” One should not “dramatize”. As long as Blinken does not give any reasons that justify an evacuation, the European Union as an institution will not withdraw its staff. Foreign Minister Antony Blinken will take part in the meeting of foreign ministers via video link in the afternoon, which in particular wants to discuss the situation in Ukraine and possible sanctions in the event of a Russian attack.

Other EU foreign ministers also reacted cautiously to the American decision. “Of course we have evacuation plans for our embassy in Kiev,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. “But we haven’t set it in motion at the moment.” It is very “important that we have our eyes and ears as present as possible right now in this phase”. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that one should not “settle into the logic of war”.

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