US Prepares to Approve Embassy Evacuation in Ukraine: Sources | Connect FM | Local news radio

(WASHINGTON) — The State Department is preparing to approve the evacuation of some U.S. diplomats and families of diplomats from the embassy in Ukraine, sources confirm to ABC News.

Final authorization has not been approved, the sources said, so the scope of the evacuation is not yet clear.

A State Department spokesperson told ABC News, “We have nothing to announce at this time. We conduct rigorous contingency planning, as we always do, should the security situation deteriorate.

This contingency planning has been underway for weeks now, as ABC News first reported last month that the embassy was preparing for an authorized or ordered departure.

An authorized departure allows families and non-emergency personnel to evacuate, usually on commercial flights, while an orderly departure requires them to do so.

In either case, the State Department will also warn US citizens to leave the country. Ukraine is already at Tier 4: Do Not Travel on the ministry’s travel advisory, with an explicit warning that “Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine.”

But while Americans will be warned to leave this week, the State Department says they will not be evacuated on government planes, like in Afghanistan – an evacuation the department says is not a precedent. .

“If it is decided to change our position with respect to American diplomats and their families, American citizens should not anticipate that there will be evacuations sponsored by the American government,” the spokesperson said. from the State Department. “Currently, commercial flights are available to support departures.”

The decision to evacuate some embassy staff and families has upset the Ukrainian government, according to a source, who said they were “p—– off”.

Ukrainians on the ground in Kyiv and on the front lines in the war between Ukraine and Russian-led forces in the eastern provinces told ABC News they were less convinced a full-scale Russian attack was imminent . Some have suggested that the pressure from Moscow is a bluff – and that they see the US as buying with moves like this.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alluded to this when meeting Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, telling him in a photo op beforehand: “Your intelligence is excellent, but you are far abroad. , and we’re here, and I think we know some of the deeper stuff.

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