Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Some countries are withdrawing embassy staffers from Ukraine

As tensions over the Russia-Ukraine conflict soared this week, the United States ordered the departure of all family members of U.S. Embassy personnel, citing the “threat of Russian military action.” It also told nonessential staffers that they could leave. The move prompted U.S. allies such as Britain and Canada to follow suit and temporarily withdraw some staffers amid a buildup of Russian troops and weapons on Ukraine’s borders. But others, including the European Union, have opted to stay, instead urging more diplomacy as a way to stave off war. The differing approaches highlighted a growing rift among Western nations over how to confront Moscow. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko called the evacuation of diplomatic families this week “premature.” “It is extremely important to avoid activity that could be used in the information space to increase tensions in society and destabilize the economic and financial security of Ukraine,” Nikolenko wrote on Twitter. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/25/ukraine-embassy-evacuations/) He said that only a handful of the 129 diplomatic missions in Ukraine have announced evacuations.

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