ISTANBUL (AA) – The US on Monday suspended operations at its embassy in Belarus’ capital Minsk and also authorized the voluntary departure of non-emergency employees and family members at the US Embassy in Moscow.
“We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
“The Department of State continually adjusts its posture at embassies and consulates throughout the world in line with its mission, the local security environment, and the health situation. We ultimately have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens, and that includes our U.S. government personnel and their dependents serving around the world,” Blinken added.
Since Russia’s war on Ukraine began last Thursday, it has been met by an outcry from the international community, with the EU, the UK, and the US implementing a range of economic sanctions against Russia.
Russia was further isolated after its planes were barred from flying in European and Canadian airspace, and several of its banks were kicked out of the SWIFT international banking system.