US closes Kyiv embassy, destroys equipment amid warnings of Russian invasion

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The US is closing its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and relocating operations to western city Lviv due to the “dramatic acceleration” of Russian troops buildup, the State Department said on Monday.

“The embassy will remain engaged with the Ukrainian government, coordinating diplomatic engagement in Ukraine. We are also continuing our intensive diplomatic efforts to deescalate the crisis. These prudent precautions in no way undermine our support for or our commitment to Ukraine,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

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He added that diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions with Russia are ongoing and called for a diplomatic solution.

Meanwhile, he reiterated Washington’s warning to American citizens to immediately leave Ukraine.

The State Department ordered the destruction of networking equipment and computer workstations and the dismantling of the Kyiv embassy telephone system, the Wall Street Journal reported citing US officials familiar with the matter.

The US and Western allies remain on edge as top officials have warned that Russia is in a position to invade Ukraine at any moment.

Washington reported that Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border, surrounding the country from three sides.

The West has threatened Moscow with wide-ranging sanctions if it attacked Kyiv.

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Source: Alarabiya