Wednesday, December 7, 2022

UK begins to withdraw non-essential embassy staff, EU 'won't do the same,' says Borrell

by Sergiy SlipchenkoJanuary 24, 2022 6:25 pm
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Kaimo Kuusk stated that the Estonian embassy is working as usual and he believes there is no reason for panic. (Estonian Embassy in Kyiv/facebook)

The U.K. began to recall non-essential staff from its embassy in Kyiv on Jan. 24, amid growing fears of a full-scale Russian invasion.

The U.K. Foreign Office had issued a statement saying that “some embassy staff and dependents are being withdrawn from Kyiv in response to growing threat." Despite the decrease in its staff, "the British Embassy remains open and will continue to carry out essential work,” the statement reads.

The U.S. has made a similar decision a day prior and has advised U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine. The U.S. Embassy remains operational, with the Charge d'Affaires Kristina Kvien remaining in office.

The U.S. and the U.K. have made the decision following the failure to reach an agreement with Russia over its ongoing escalation. The ongoing diplomatic effort led by the West has had no positive effect so far.

Despite that, the European Union and its member countries have not followed suit, with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell confirming that the EU is not "going to do the same thing, because we do not know any specific reasons."

Estonia's ambassador to Ukraine, Kaimo Kuusk, said that Estonia will not evacuate its staff as there's no need for panic.

"The Estonian embassy is working as usual," said Kuusk.

According to the latest intelligence data, Moscow has concentrated over 120,000 troops in regions surrounding Ukraine, and also deployed a large number of combat-ready weaponry and military hardware from its distant districts.

Furthermore, the British government has accused the Kremlin of seeking to install a pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine, in a statement on Jan. 22.

Sergiy Slipchenko
Sergiy Slipchenko
News reporter

Sergiy Slipchenko is a staff writer at the Kyiv Independent. He studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and worked as a reporter at the Kyiv Post.

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