US Embassy In Minsk Urges Americans To Exercise Extra Awareness Amid Regional Tensions

US Embassy in Minsk Urges Americans to Exercise Extra Awareness Amid Regional Tensions

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2022) The US Embassy in Belarus is urging Americans to be especially vigilant amid "tensions" in the region, particularly taking into account the situation around Ukraine.

"The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to exercise increased awareness and vigilance regarding political and military tensions in the region. Concerning reports of further unusual Russian military activity near Ukraine's borders, including the border with Belarus, continue," the embassy said on Sunday.

It added that US citizens in Belarus are being advised to avoid demonstrations and to "regularly reevaluate possible departure plans in the event of an emergency."

In addition, the embassy reminded that the travel advisory for Belarus remains at level 4 (do not travel).

On Sunday, the State Department authorized the voluntary departure of US direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from the embassy in Kiev amid security concerns.

US citizens in Ukraine are being advised to leave using commercial transportation options.

A senior state department official said at a Sunday briefing that the US Embassy in Kiev was going to continue operating in an uninterrupted way, but the US will not be in a position to evacuate US citizens from Ukraine in case the security situation deteriorates.

The State Department also updated its travel advisory for Russia on Sunday, urging US citizens not to travel to Russia due to "ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine."

Tensions around Ukraine have intensified over the past several months after Russia was accused of a troop build-up near the Ukrainian border and allegedly preparing for an invasion. Moscow has denied these accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near the Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security.