Canada Withdraws Non-Essential Employees From Its Embassy in Kiev
17:37 GMT 30.01.2022 (Updated: 18:37 GMT 30.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyAn aerial view of ancient Orthodox Monastery of Caves, which was closed for coronavirus quarantine, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 13, 2020. Over 90 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at the Monastery, of which 63 monks were confirmed in the past 24 hours, making the thousand-year old historical and religious center the biggest hotbed of coronavirus outbreak in the Ukrainian capital.
© AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
Earlier, Canada announced that it would temporarily withdraw the families of diplomats with underage children from Ukraine due to the tense situation on the country's border with Russia.
Canadian authorities on Sunday announced that Ottawa has decided to "temporarily withdraw" non-essential employees and remaining dependants from its embassy in Kiev.
"As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our highest priority remains the safety and security of Canadians", an official statement from Global Affairs Canada read. "Our officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens, as required".
The statement noted that the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine remains open.
“As announced earlier this week, Canada will be reinforcing the team at the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, with officials with expertise in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, consular services and diplomacy", the statement added. "Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine".
Global Affairs Canada temporarily withdraws non-essential personnel from Canadian embassy to Ukraine: https://t.co/d1fjTiVPUs pic.twitter.com/Xs12rTl0TP— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) January 30, 2022
Canadians are still recommended to avoid all non-essential travel to Ukraine due to what is deemed by Ottawa as "ongoing Russian threats and military buildup in and around the country". Last week, Canada decided to withdraw the families of diplomats with underage children from the country.
Ottawa has asserted that it "is steadfast in its support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence", condemning Russia's alleged "threats" toward the neighbouring country. Canada also vowed "strong consequences" in the event of "further aggression".
Russia, however, has repeatedly denied claims of its purported plans to "invade" Ukraine, voicing concern in regard to the Western countries (Canada among them) continuing to send military aid to the country under the pretext of the alleged "threat".