May 26, 2022

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US orders diplomatic families to leave Ukraine

The State Department said Sunday that the United States has ordered relatives of its embassy staff in Kiev to leave Ukraine “because of the continuing threat of Russian military action.”

The announcement also called on U.S. citizens in Ukraine to consider leaving the country using business travel options or other personal travel options. The decision marks a new turning point in the conflict between Russia and the United States and its allies over the military build-up of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the border with Ukraine.

“Russia is reportedly planning a significant military operation against Ukraine,” the State Department said in a statement. “Security conditions, especially on the borders of Ukraine, in Russian-occupied Crimea and in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and could worsen with little warning.”

The New York Times reports that US President Joe Biden is considering sending troops to Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. According to the newspaper, Biden is also considering deploying warships and aircraft to NATO allies.

Biden is considering sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, and could increase that number tenfold if necessary, the Times reported.

These moves indicate an escalation of tensions, with the United States seeking to spread diplomacy between Russia and its European allies, with threats of severe sanctions if Russia moves troops across the border. Negotiations between the United States and Russia last week failed to pave the way for an end to the stalemate.

When asked on Sunday about the eviction of the families of the diplomats, the Biden administration said it was “actively monitoring whether I was still safe, hour by hour and of course day by day”.

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Sanctions on Russia

Blinken rejected pressure to immediately lift sanctions on Russia’s military structure, saying it would slow down Western options.

He said the United States was focusing with its European allies on building the threat of “massive consequences” for Russia from sending troops to Ukraine and opening the door to diplomacy.

“The purpose of those sanctions is to prevent Russian occupation, so if they are implemented now, the sanctions will be lost,” he told CNN’s State of the Union.

He said the United States was following a British warning that Russia planned to establish a Kremlin-backed government in Ukraine.

He told NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “We have been worried about this kind of tactic for weeks.

– With the help of Ian Fisher and Susanne Barton.

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