Ukraine-Russia Conflict: US Closes Embassy In Belarus, Allows Non-Essential Staff To Leave Moscow
"We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken announcing suspension of operations at the Minsk embassy and the authorizing staff's departure from Moscow.
Washington: The US State Department on Monday closed America’s Embassy in Belarus and is allowing non-essential staff at the US Embassy in Russia to leave the country due to Moscow’s “unprovoked and unjustified” attack on Ukraine.
Announcing the suspension of operations at the Minsk embassy and the authorizing staff’s departure from Moscow, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine.”
You may like to read
The development came after a referendum in Belarus on Sunday approved a new constitution ditching the country’s non-nuclear status. The move came at a time when the former Soviet republic has become a launch pad for Russian troops invading Ukraine, reported news agency Reuters.
Earlier in the day, a senior American intelligence official with direct knowledge of current US intelligence assessments told Associated Press that Ukraine’s neighbour Belarus could send troops to help Russia as soon as Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, the AP report said.
US officials also say they believe the invasion has been more difficult, and slower, than the Kremlin envisioned, though that could change as Moscow adapts.
The British Defense Ministry on Monday warned that the bulk of Putin’s forces are about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Kyiv, their advance having been slowed by Ukrainian forces.
Meanwhile, the western nations ramped up the pressure with a freeze on Russia’s hard currency reserves, threatening to bring Russia’s economy to its knees. Russians withdrew savings and sought to shed rubles for dollars and euros, while Russian businesses scrambled to protect their finances.
For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Read more on Latest News News on India.com.