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12 Feb, 2022 11:46

Russia pulls diplomats from Ukraine

Moscow says it fears “provocations” against its foreign missions
Russia pulls diplomats from Ukraine

Russia has decided to remove some of its diplomatic personnel from Ukraine. Moscow says it fears possible provocations.

The move came after the US, Britain, and several other countries began to evacuate some staffers and family members from their embassies in Kiev last month, Moscow said on Saturday, arguing that the Western states may have some insights which haven't been shared with Russia.

“We are making a conclusion that American and British colleagues are possibly aware of certain violent actions prepared in Ukraine that can seriously undermine security,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on social media.

“Fearing possible provocations by Kiev or third countries, we have indeed made a decision about some optimization of the staff at our missions in Ukraine.”

The US ordered the evacuation of non-emergency personnel from its embassy in Kiev on Saturday and advised Americans not to travel to Ukraine.

Israel on Friday also issued a travel warning for Ukraine and announced the evacuation of embassy workers and their families. The UK Foreign Office, which started to withdraw diplomats and their families in January, advised Brits on Friday to “leave [Ukraine] now while commercial means are still available.”