The United States is temporarily closing its embassy in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital and moving embassy operations to Lviv, a city much farther from Russian territory, the State Department said on Monday, citing the Russian military buildup near Ukraine.
Amid fears of a Russian invasion, the United States has strongly urged its citizens to leave Ukraine and has ordered some personnel and their families out of the country.
Kyiv lies within easy reach of Russian forces massed in western Russia and in Belarus. Lviv sits nearly 300 miles farther west, close to Ukraine’s border with Poland.
“I have no higher priority than the safety and security of Americans around the world, and that, of course, includes our colleagues serving at our posts overseas,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement.
“With that in mind,” he added, “we are in the process of temporarily relocating our Embassy operations in Ukraine from our Embassy in Kyiv to Lviv due to the dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces. The Embassy will remain engaged with the Ukrainian government, coordinating diplomatic engagement in Ukraine.”
Mr. Blinken said: “The path for diplomacy remains available if Russia chooses to engage in good faith. We look forward to returning our staff to the Embassy as soon as conditions permit.”