no withdrawal of diplomats from Kiev planned for the time being

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EU: no withdrawal of diplomats from Kiev planned for the time being © Brittainy Newman / dpa

In contrast to the USA, the European Union currently sees no reason to ask embassy staff and family members of diplomats to leave Ukraine.

Brussels – “I don’t think we have to dramatize,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. As long as negotiations with Russia were still going on, he didn’t think it was necessary to leave Ukraine. At the same time, Borrell admitted that the assessment of the situation could change. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was supposed to be connected to the EU meeting via video conference, would explain the US announcement, said the Spaniard.

The USA had previously announced that it would reduce its embassy presence in Kiev in view of the tense situation in the Ukraine conflict. The US State Department announced that employees who were not immediately required to leave the country voluntarily had been approved because of the ongoing threat from Russian military action. Family members of diplomats have been asked to leave Ukraine.

The EU representation in Ukraine is located in the center of the capital Kiev. It is currently headed by Estonian diplomat Matti Maasikas.

With a massive Russian troop deployment near Ukraine, there are fears in the West that the Kremlin may be planning an invasion of the neighboring country. However, it is also considered possible that fears are only being stirred up in order to persuade the NATO states to make concessions when demands for new security guarantees are made. It is Russia’s declared goal, for example, that NATO refrain from further eastward expansion and withdraw its armed forces from eastern alliance states. NATO and the EU reject these demands as unacceptable. (dpa)

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