US To Continue Along Path Of Diplomacy In What Concerns Russia, Ukraine - State Department

US to Continue Along Path of Diplomacy in What Concerns Russia, Ukraine - State Department

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2022) The United States is still interested in finding diplomatic solutions to the Ukrainian crisis and has advised its citizens to leave Ukraine only out of precaution, a senior US State Department official said.

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.

"I also want to be clear that we're not saying we know that (a Russian invasion in Ukraine) will happen, none of us know what (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin will decide but at the same time we're doing this prudent planning and taking these measures we are still very engaged on a diplomatic path," a state department official said at a Sunday briefing, explaining the reasons behind the new travel advisory.

The official reiterated that Russia will face massive consequences if it decides to "invade" Ukraine and said that Washington is urging Moscow to de-escalate the situation.

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. Russia has also said it has the right to move its forces within its own territory.