I have no higher priority than the safety and security of Americans around the world, and that, of course, includes our colleagues who serve in our posts overseas. My team and I are constantly reviewing the security situation to determine when caution dictates a change in posture. In this spirit, we are in the process of temporarily transferring the operations of our embassy in Ukraine from our embassy in Kyiv to Lviv due to the dramatic acceleration in the build-up of Russian forces. The Embassy will remain engaged with the Ukrainian government, coordinating diplomatic engagement in Ukraine. We are also continuing our intensive diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis.
These cautious precautions in no way compromise our support or commitment to Ukraine. Our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering. We also continue our sincere efforts to reach a diplomatic solution, and we remain engaged with the Russian government following President Biden’s call with President Putin and my discussion with Foreign Minister Lavrov. The path of diplomacy remains open if Russia chooses to engage in good faith. We look forward to the return of our staff to the Embassy as soon as conditions permit.
In the meantime, I have ordered these measures for one reason only – the safety of our personnel – and we strongly urge all US citizens remaining in Ukraine to leave the country immediately. U.S. citizens requesting emergency assistance in Ukraine should complete this form online, and the Department of State will follow up as needed.