UK govt tells Britons to leave Ukraine immediately
The British government has followed the US and Israel in advising its citizens against all travel to Ukraine, with the Foreign Office also telling Britons to “leave now while commercial means are still available.”
The move comes amid escalating tensions between the West and Russia over its alleged plans to invade Ukraine – something that Moscow categorically denies. Russia’s foreign and defense ministers, Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shoigu, over the last two days, spent hours trying to convey Moscow’s position to their respective British counterparts, Liz Truss and Ben Wallace. However, their assurances have apparently fallen on deaf ears.
“The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office today (Friday 11 February) updated its travel advice to Ukraine, and is now advising British nationals against all travel to Ukraine. British nationals currently in Ukraine should leave now while commercial means are still available,” the government department website wrote late on Friday.
In a statement, a Foreign Office spokesperson underlined that while its travel recommendations have been updated for “the safety and security of British nationals,” any UK citizens still in Ukraine “should not expect consular support or help with evacuating in the event of a Russian military incursion.”
The advice explains that “any Russian military action … would severely affect” the British Embassy’s ability to provide consular assistance. Earlier this month, the ministry decided to withdraw some staff members and their dependents from Kiev, but the embassy remains open.
The new advice follows similar measures taken by the US and Israeli governments. American President Joe Biden said earlier on Friday that US citizens in Ukraine “should leave now,” while Israel has decided to evacuate the families of its diplomats.