UK Temporarily Moves Its Embassy From Kiev to Lviv Amid Shelling of Donbas

© REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLSThe Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is seen illuminated with colours of the Ukraine flag, in London, Britain, February 16, 2022
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is seen illuminated with colours of the Ukraine flag, in London, Britain, February 16, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.02.2022
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NATO along with Ukraine have repeatedly been raising concerns over Russia’s potential "invasion" of Ukraine, citing concentration of Russian troops near its border and warning of possible provocation. Moscow has dismissed the allegations as "empty and unfounded," insisting on peaceful resulution that would be pursuant to international agreements.
Britain has relocated its diplomatic corps in Ukraine from the embassy in capital Kiev to "operate from the British Embassy office in Lviv", recommendeding British nationals to leave the country, according to a press release from UK’s foreign ministry.
It specified that the measure, related to "the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders" is "temporarily."

"The Embassy remains open but will be unable to provide in-person consular assistance. British nationals should leave while commercial options remain," the ministry said on Friday.

It warned that "any Russian military action in Ukraine would severely affect the British Embassy Kyiv’s ability to provide any consular assistance," adding that "British Nationals should not expect increased consular support or help with evacuating in these circumstances."
On Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced that the British Embassy has transferred part of its staff to Lviv, stressing that London would maintain a diplomatic presence in Kiev.
The tensions over Ukraine has increased after reports of Kiev’s continuous massive shelling of self-proclaimed republics of Donbass and Lugansk and military build up by Ukrainian armed forces near Donbass borders.
A Ukrainian serviceman runs during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.02.2022
'Heading Towards War': DPR Head Warns Kiev Could Launch Full-Scale Offensive at Any Time
Earlier in the day, On February 18, DPR and LPR leaders, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik announced mass evacuation of republics’ citizens to Russia citing Kiev’s plans to launch an offensive.
Meanwhile Kiev has denied speculations of its military actions in the Eastern parts of the country, saying that Ukraine is “committed to a diplomatic settlement,” according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
The only international agreement concerning the conflict remains the Minsk Accords, signed in 2015 by the leaders of the so-called Normandy Four, which besides Ukraine includes France, Germany, and Russia. It includes ceasefire, withdrawal of troops from the ceasefire lines, restoration of economic ties and constitutional reform in Ukraine that would secure "special status of certain regions of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions."
Responding to claims concerning Russia’s alleged military buildup near Ukraine's borders and speculations of an "invasion," Moscow has repeatedly rejected the allegations about an "incursion," warning in turn of the possibility of provocations by Kiev in a bid to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine by means of force. The Kremlin noted that any actions that bypass the Minsk Accords would lead to the most serious consequences.
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