Comment by Spokesperson of the MFA of Ukraine Oleg Nikolenko regarding the U.S. Department of State decision ordering the departure of family members of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv employees
24 January 2022
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took note of the U.S. Department of State decision ordering the departure of family members of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv personnel, as well as authorizing voluntary departure of some U.S. Government employees.
While respecting the right of foreign nations to decide on safety and security of their diplomatic missions, we consider that this step by the U.S. is a premature one and an instance of excessive caution. There were no radical changes in the security situation lately: the threat of new waves of Russian aggression remains constant since 2014, and Russia’s build-up of the military capacity along Ukraine’s borders lasts since April last year.
The U.S. State Department’s decision does not mean that all staff of the U.S. Embassy is leaving Ukraine now. The Embassy in Kyiv continues to fully operate. The Diplomatic Mission members have been authorized to depart if they wish. However, their departure is not mandatory.
We urge keeping calm regarding the recommendations for the U.S. citizens to register their travel plans on the State Department website. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also recommends that Ukrainians traveling abroad register in a similar “DRUH” system. It is a regular international practice to maintain consular relations with its citizens.
The Russian Federation is currently taking active efforts to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. A large amount of misinformation, manipulation and fakes are spreading in Ukrainian and international media in order to cause panic among Ukrainians and foreigners, intimidate business and undermine the economic and financial stability of our state. In this situation, it is important to soberly assess the risks and stay calm.
The President of Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and all Ukrainian diplomatic service are now consolidating the unprecedentedly high support of Ukraine from international partners in order to deter Russia from its aggressive actions and ensure the security of Ukrainian citizens and the state.
In this context, we are particularly grateful to the US Government for its proactive diplomatic position and for strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities, including the provision of weapons and equipment.