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18 June, 2024
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Ukraine: Britain, US withdraw diplomats and their families

EU waits for more information

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The United Kingdom has begun withdrawing some staff from its embassy in the Ukrainian capital amid fears of an imminent Russian military invasion.

According to a BBC report, there have been no specific threats against British diplomats so far, but about 50% of those working at the British embassy in Kiev will return to the UK for security reasons.

It is noted that the United States has - for fear of a Russian attack that could take place "at any time" - recently withdrew relatives of employees at the US embassy in Kiev.

Moscow, for its part, insists on rejecting - in theory - the possibility of a Russian military strike on Ukraine but has not withdrawn its troops from the Ukrainian border for the time being.

The European Union (EU) has no plans to withdraw the families of its diplomats from Ukraine, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier.

"We are not going to do the same thing (as the Americans) because we have no specific reasons. "But US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will let us know."

"Negotiations are continuing," he said, adding that he saw no reason for European diplomats to leave Ukraine "unless Blinken gives us information to justify such a move."

Elsewhere, however, and in anticipation of new US-Russian contacts expected this week with the Americans' written response to Russia's security demands and the new round of consultations to follow, tensions in the region continue to rise.

NATO allies (Denmark, Spain, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, etc.) are strengthening their defenses in Eastern Europe.  Meanwhile, the UK Foreign Office had recently announced that, according to information at its disposal, "the Russian government seeks to establish a pro-Russian leader in Kiev, while planning to invade and occupy Ukraine."

According to information from BBC, the Guardian

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