According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the armed forces of the NATO countries are on alert. In addition, the alliance will expand its presence in Eastern Europe by stationing additional warships and fighter jets.
“I welcome the fact that the allies are contributing additional forces to NATO,” said the NATO Secretary General in Brussels. The western military alliance will “take all necessary measures” to defend its allies and will strengthen “the eastern part of the alliance”.
US President Joe Biden is considering a report of New York Times according to the dispatch of thousands of US soldiers to the Eastern European NATO countries. According to government circles, one of several variants discussed provides for up to 5,000 soldiers. This number could be increased tenfold if the situation worsens. A transfer of troops to Ukraine itself has not yet been considered. The US Department of Defense declined to comment on the report. (24.01.2022)
Britain withdraws diplomats from Kiev
Because of the worsening situation between Russia and Ukraine, Great Britain is also withdrawing employees from its embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. In response to the growing threat from Russia, some employees and relatives would be recalled from the country, the Foreign Office said in London.
With a massive Russian troop build-up near the border with Ukraine, there are fears in the West that the Kremlin may be planning an invasion of the neighboring country. Moscow rejects this and demands security guarantees from the USA and NATO.
The European Union, on the other hand, currently sees no reason to ask embassy staff to leave Ukraine. “I don’t think we need to dramatize,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the fringes 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. (24.01.2022)
Federal Foreign Office is working on contingency plans
The Federal Foreign Office is working on contingency plans for embassy employees and other German nationals in Ukraine, but currently sees no reason for extensive return campaigns. “We have repeatedly evaluated this over the past few weeks, also evaluated with our European partners how we could act as quickly as possible,” said Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels. “But I would like to say very clearly here: That is the subjunctive.”
According to Baerbock, there should be another meeting on crisis prevention with a view to German nationals this Monday. Such meetings are held regularly. Baerbock also warned of the possible consequences of a hasty withdrawal by embassy employees. One finds oneself in a situation in which the Federal Foreign Office and companies continue to work on site, where the focus is above all on supporting Ukraine – including economic support. For this reason, the preparations should not be used to create uncertainty with regard to investments in Ukraine. (24.01.2022)
US State Department orders diplomatic families to leave Ukraine
The US State Department is ordering family members of embassy employees in Kyiv to leave the mission in the Ukrainian capital. Embassy employees who are not immediately needed should also leave the country. In addition, given the threat of Russian military action, all American citizens in Ukraine should consider leaving the country, a statement said. This move by the US government had been speculated for a few days. Kiev criticized the move as “excessive caution”. (24.01.2022)
Asselborn: No war during the Olympics
With a view to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing from February 4th to 20th, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn refers to a resolution of the United Nations according to which no wars are fought during the Olympics. “I believe that gives everyone time to think about war and peace and then make the right decision,” Asselborn said before the EU foreign ministers began their consultations in Brussels.
Klitschko accuses Germany of failing to provide assistance
In the Ukraine crisis, Kiev’s mayor Vitali Klitschko spoke of a huge disappointment in his country about the federal government’s adherence to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and a ban on the supply of weapons. “This is failure to provide assistance and betrayal of friends in a dramatic situation in which our country is threatened by Russian troops from several borders,” said Klitschko image-Newspaper. Many wondered whether the German government was “on the side of freedom” or “on the side of the aggressor.” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had previously criticized the German government’s refusal to supply arms to his country. (24.01.2022)