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'Major Embarrassment for Biden': EU Takes Different Approach to Withdrawing Diplomats' Families

Drew Angerer/Pool via AP

The State Department on Sunday authorized the voluntary departure of all nonessential staff and family members of U.S. diplomats in Ukraine amid increasing Russian threats.

"There are reports Russia is planning significant military action against Ukraine," the travel advisory stated. "The security conditions, particularly along Ukraine's borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice."

But the European Union is taking a different approach, according to bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. 

Q. The fact that the Americans asked the families of the diplomats to leave Ukraine soon, does it mean that the war is very close?

Well, Secretary Blinken will explain us the reasons of this announcement. We are not going to do the same thing, because we do not know any specific reasons. But Secretary Blinken will inform us and I do not think we have to dramatise. As far as the negotiations are going on - and they are going on - I do not think that we have to leave Ukraine. But maybe Secretary Blinken has more information that he will share with us.

Q. The European Union personnel and their families will stay in Ukraine for now? 

There is no decision about that now. Unless Secretary Blinken gives us information that justifies a move, it is not.

Britain also said it is withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Ukraine, while Australia is preparing to get family members of diplomats out of Kyiv. 


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