Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia denies embassy and consulates evacuation reports

Russia has denied the report from The New York Times, telling Russian media outlet Interfax that the embassy in Kyiv is operating normally. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters Tuesday that “despite the provocations and the aggressive behavior of local radicals, I repeat that our missions are operating as usual.” The Ukrainian foreign ministry told Reuters it had not received any word from Moscow about an evacuation of its embassy and consulates and that it did not have any plans to thin out or evacuate its diplomatic outposts in Russia. (https://news.yahoo.com/moscow-claims-everything-normal-report-154535570.html) Reports that Russia may be thinning out its outposts in Ukraine come as high-level talks between Russia and the US and NATO over the past week have reached an impasse, stalling with no clear solution on the table. The New York Times reported this week a group of 18 people, largely family members of Russian diplomats, left Ukraine for Moscow on January 5. Over the next few days, around 30 more people from Kyiv and the consulate in Lviv reportedly departed. And diplomats at two other outposts in Ukraine have been instructed to prepare to leave, The Times reported, citing a senior Ukrainian security official.

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