- Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
Russia-NATO Row on European Security
Russia proposed draft agreements on security guarantees for NATO and the US in late 2021 requesting the alliance not to expand eastward as Moscow considers such a move a threat to its national security. NATO insists it will not allow its "Open Door" policy to be slammed shut.

US State Department Tells Non-Emergency Personnel at US Embassy in Ukraine to Leave Country

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the mediabankA view shows the US embassy, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The US State Department announced Sunday evening it would reduce staff levels at the US Embassy in Kyiv, beginning with the departure of non-essential staff and family members
A view shows the US embassy, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The US State Department announced Sunday evening it would reduce staff levels at the US Embassy in Kyiv, beginning with the departure of non-essential staff and family members - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.02.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) -The US State Department has told non-emergency personnel at its embassy in Ukraine to leave due to reports of Russian troop build-up near the border with Ukraine and "potential for significant military action," the US embassy in Kiev said.
"Today, the @StateDept ordered non-emergency U.S. employees at the Embassy to depart due to continued reports of a Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine, indicating potential for significant military action," the embassy tweeted.
"Despite the reduction in diplomatic staff, the core embassy team, our dedicated Ukrainian colleagues, and StateDept and U.S. personnel around the world will continue relentless diplomatic and assistance efforts in support of Ukraine’s security, democracy, and prosperity," the embassy also said.
In a separate development, UK Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons said that she continues running the embassy in Kiev together with the core personnel despite growing tensions and the departure of families of diplomats.
"I am staying in Kyiv and continue to work there with a core team. The embassy remains operational," Simmons wrote on Twitter.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace takes part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by the Kremlin Wall in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
UK's Defence Chief Says Ready to Discuss Russian Security Proposals With Shoigu
On Monday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia informed it about their intention to evacuate families of diplomats. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that member countries of the bloc are not going to evacuate their diplomatic staff from Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Belgian Foreign Ministry has updated its travel advice, calling on Belgian citizens to leave Ukraine, adding that evacuation cannot be guaranteed if tensions escalate. "All trips to the entire Ukrainian territory are strongly discouraged. Nationals who are currently in Ukraine and whose presence is not absolutely necessary are strongly advised to leave the country," the new travel advice read. The ministry advised citizens to modify their travel plans depending on the security situation in Ukraine as tensions with Russia allegedly grow, adding that should the situation deteriorate, disruptions might affect air travel, internet and phone connectivity in Ukraine.
Germany has announced it is reducing the number of embassy staff in Kiev and moving its consulate general to Lvov.
"We will keep our embassy in Kiev open but will reduce the number of diplomatic staff stationed there. Our consulate general for Donetsk, which has been based in Dnipro since 2014, will be temporarily relocated to Lviv," Baerbock said, as quoted on the German Foreign Ministry's Twitter account.
Earlier, the German Foreign Ministry urged citizens to leave Ukraine unless remaining there is absolutely necessary.
Ukrainian S-300V1 at a parade in Kiev. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.02.2022
Donbass Militia Reports Presence of Ukrainian S-300s, Artillery and Foreign Mercs Near Front Line

Ukraine and several Western countries have been accusing Russia of military build-up along the Ukrainian border in an alleged preparation of invasion. Russia has rejected these accusations. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia was not threatening anyone but was being threatened. He added that Moscow is not excluding that the "hysteria" around Ukraine which is being fuelled by the West is aimed at concealing Kiev's plans to sabotage the Minsk Agreements on Donbass. Moreover, Russia warned Western counterparts supplying lethal weaponry to Ukraine that the latter could use it against the breakaway parts of the Donbass region.
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