US Embassy in Kyiv asks State Dept. to authorize departure of nonessential personnel
A State Department spokesperson said they have “nothing to announce at this time,” adding, “We conduct rigorous contingency planning, as we always do, in the event the security situation deteriorates.” A spokesperson for the embassy declined to confirm and referred CNN to the State Department in Washington.
A State Department official said the department would not comment on private discussions, adding that decisions about overseas staff are based on a single criterion: the safety and security of Americans.
The State Department has already issued the highest-level travel advisory for Ukraine, telling Americans not to travel to the country and to be aware of reports that Russia is planning for significant military action against Ukraine.
“If there is a decision to change our posture with respect to American diplomats and their families, American citizens should not anticipate that there will be US government-sponsored evacuations. Currently, commercial flights are available to support departures,” the spokesperson said.
The deployment of forces from Russia’s Eastern Military District to Belarus on Monday struck many US officials and Russian military analysts as particularly ominous.