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Ambassador Dismisses Reports of Evacuation of Russian Embassy in US as 'Utter Lie'

© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterThe Russian flag flies on the grounds of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021.
The Russian flag flies on the grounds of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2022
Earlier, several western nations - including the UK and US - reported evacuating families of diplomatic workers from Ukraine amid growing security-related tensions around the country.
Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has dismissed reports in social media that Moscow was evacuating its embassy in Washington in connection to the situation in Ukraine as an "utter lie".
"All of us in Washington, New York and Houston are working as usual. The embassy has not received any instructions from Moscow, nor from the US State Department [to vacate the building]," Antonov said.
The ambassador said in an interview with CNN that the embassy has been inundated by media outlets asking that very question since rumours started to spread on social media.
Earlier, three countries, namely the US, UK and Australia announced that they were starting to reduce their staff in their embassies in Ukraine, in particular, evacuating diplomats' families and non-essential staff because of an "abundance of caution".
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According to the countries' officials, the withdrawal was prompted by ongoing tensions around Ukraine. For the past two months, western countries have been expressing fears that Russia is planning to invade Ukraine based on the fact that it was amassing troops near the Ukrainian border. The US and its European allies are at present engaged in talks on how to respond in case of a Russian "invasion".
Moscow strongly rejected allegations that it is planning an invasion and urged the West to stop reckless speculation. The Kremlin further defended its right to move national armed forces within its territory as it sees fit.
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