The United States ordered the departure of family members of staff at its embassy in Ukraine on Sunday (23 Jan), citing the continuing threat of military action from Russia.
The U.S. State Department also authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees and said Americans should consider departing immediately.
Russia has massed troops near the border with Ukraine, prompting tensions with Western powers. Moscow has insisted it has no plans to invade.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv warned in a statement that “military action by Russia could come at any time and the United States government will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so U.S. citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.”
The State Department also said it was authorizing the “voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees.”
The New York Times reported late Sunday that President Joe Biden was considering deploying several thousand U.S. troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.
U.S. and Russian diplomats made no major breakthrough at talks on Friday.
On Sunday, Britain accused the Kremlin of seeking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv.
The State Department late Sunday also reissued its advisory for Russia warning Americans not to travel, citing “ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine.” It added that “given the on-going volatility of the situation, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling by land from Russia to Ukraine through this region.”
State Department officials declined to say how many Americans are currently believed to be in Ukraine. (NNT)