Ukraine Crisis Briefing

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine urges American citizens to consider departing now

epa09693065 A handout photo made available by the Belarus Defence Ministry press service shows Russian military vehicles arrive for Russia and Belarus joint military drill 'Union resolve 2022' in Belarus, 18 January 2022. The joint military exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus 'Allied Resolve - 2022' will be held from February 10 to 20. Joint maneuvers between Russia and Belarus will take place against the backdrop of 'the ongoing militarization of European countries.' According to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, the military will work out 'opposition to the forces of the West - the Baltic states and Poland - and the south - Ukraine'. EPA-EFE/BELARUS DEFENCE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Jan 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv urged American citizens in Ukraine to consider departing now, saying that the security situation in the country was "unpredictable due to the increased threat of Russian military action."

By Kanishka Singh

The security situation in Ukraine “can deteriorate with little notice”, the embassy said on its website on Wednesday.

In Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv would remain open but added that Americans in the former Soviet country should “strongly consider leaving.”

Earlier this week, the United States urged its citizens not to travel to Ukraine.

The United States delivered written replies on Wednesday to sweeping Russian security demands, a key step in a fragile diplomatic process as Russia staged new military drills on land and sea near Ukraine.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that personal sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, though a rare step, could be considered as part of a drive by Washington and its allies to convince Moscow that any new aggression against Ukraine would have swift and massive costs.

Russia warned on Wednesday that imposing sanctions on Putin personally would not hurt him but would be “politically destructive.”

Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine but has denied that it plans to invade.

The United States has spent weeks trying to build agreement with European partners on a strong sanctions package if Russia attacks. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Howard Goller)


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