Move into Poland! US embassy staff pulled out of Ukraine amid Russian invasion fears

Biden says threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine is ‘very high’

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The decision to shift staff to Warsaw comes after Vladimir Putin, 69, said Moscow would recognise two regions in east Ukraine as independent states. Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs confirmed the move on social media.

She said: “US is moving its Ukraine embassy staff out of the country and into Poland for security reasons, sources tell me and @AlbertoNardelli.

“They may return to tomorrow if the Russian invasion doesn’t happen, I’m told.”

It had initially been reported Washington hoped to relocate to the western city of Lviv, some 335miles away from the Ukrainian capital.

However, all State Department staff are now said to have relocated to a hotel in Poland.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, 59, said: “Our colleagues who recently relocated to Lviv will spend the night in Poland.

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“They will regularly return to continue their diplomatic work in Ukraine and provide emergency consular services.” 

The move comes after Boris Johnson, 57, claimed an invasion could occur within hours.

The Prime Minister’s office said he warned Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44, about the possibility of an imminent invasion.

Mr Johnson’s office explained: “The Prime Minister told President Zelenskiy that he believed an invasion was a real possibility in the coming hours and days.”

They added: “He told President Zelenskiy that the UK had already drawn up sanctions to target those complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and that those measures would come into force tomorrow.

“The Prime Minister also said he would explore sending further defensive support to Ukraine, at the request of the Ukrainian Government.”

US President Joe Biden, 79, has since signed an executive order to prohibit trade and investment between Americans and the two breakaway regions.

A White House statement said: “President Biden signed an Executive Order to respond to President Putin’s action to purportedly recognize the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as ‘independent’ states.

“President Putin’s action contradicts Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements, refutes Russia’s claimed commitment to diplomacy, and undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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The statement added: “This Executive Order is distinct from the swift and severe economic measures we are prepared to issue with Allies and partners in response to a further Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We are continuing to closely consult with Ukraine and with Allies and partners on next steps and urge Russia to immediately deescalate.”

Britain will also put pressure on Russia following its decision to acknowledge the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Liz Truss, 46, even said the UK will announce what sanctions it will impose on Russia.

The Foreign Secretary explained: “Tomorrow we will be announcing new sanctions on Russia in response to their breach of international law and attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Mr Johnson is set to hold a COBRA meeting to discuss the UK’s response to the latest developments in Ukraine at 6.30am.

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