The United States and Russia withdraw their diplomats from Kiev

Kiev (dpa) – The United States and Russia are withdrawing their diplomats from Kiev. According to US media reports, Washington now believes that Russia is increasingly likely to invade Ukraine, and is therefore planning to evacuate a large majority of the embassy’s 200 employees.

Russian news website RIA Novosti, affiliated with the state media group Russia Sevodnya, reported on Saturday, citing its own sources, that employees of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine will also leave the country. This is also evidenced by the difficulties in arranging appointments with consulates and the embassy. She added that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicated the possibility of such a scenario after negotiations with British Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced on Saturday that he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine appears to be getting worse. According to Russia, it feels threatened by a possible expansion of NATO, while Ukraine is determined to join the military alliance because the country fears an invasion by Russia. Moscow denies this, but continues to increase its border forces near the border with Ukraine. The West threatened sanctions in the event of an invasion, but was reluctant to provide direct military assistance to Ukraine.

The particular sticking point when it comes to potential sanctions is the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on the Baltic Sea, which is intended to supply Germany with Russian gas more quickly. The US and Ukraine were against the pipeline even before the latest escalation because they fear for their own business and expect Germany to become more dependent on Russia. But this is already the case, a significant part of oil and gas consumption comes from Russia.

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Photo: Ukrainian flag in Kiev, via DTS News Agency

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