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US Mulls Evacuating Diplomats' Family Members From Ukraine; Blinken-Lavrov Meeting 'Positive'

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jan 21, 2022 - 03:18 PM

The US State Department is reportedly mulling a plan to evacuate diplomats' family members from Ukraine as a precaution amid the continued crisis wherein Washington has predicted some level of a Russian offensive on the Ukraine border. 

At the same time, Russia's embassy in Washington D.C. has been calling on the West to "end the hysteria" - assuring that there are no plans to invade Ukraine. Earlier in the week it issued a message on Twitter, saying, "We stress once again: Russia is not going to attack anyone. The practice of moving troops on our own soil is a sovereign right."

US Embassy, Kiev. via AFP

Days ago there were also Western media reports alleging that Russia was thinning out its embassy presence in Kiev, possibly ahead of military action. The claim was first reported in The New York Times, which the Russian Foreign Ministry blasted as sensationalism and fake news sourced to Ukrainian security services.

A statement said at the time, "Russia’s embassy and consulate general in Ukraine are operating normally." Spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote further, "They are doing this despite attacks on Russian foreign service workers by Ukrainian radicals, and the provocations of local security forces. But the American media have not and will not cover this."

"If the American newspaper had come to us for comment, it would have learned about the harassment. But then, of course, it would no longer have wanted to publish the whole thing, and it would have lost a chance to once again 'hype up' the theme of 'Russian aggression'."

Concerning the question each side drawing down their embassy personnel, in reality (barring some shock provocation along the border) the situation is likely far from reach that point as of yet.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have wrapped up their meeting in Geneva, where things were generally positive in terms of willingness of both sides to at least further communications and dialogue, and avoid military conflict.

The two sides "agreed to keep talking to try to resolve a crisis that has stoked fears of a military conflict," Reuters writes.

"We didn't expect any major breakthroughs to happen today, but I believe we are on a clearer path in terms of understanding each other's concerns, each others' positions," Blinken said just after the meeting. "Let's see what the next days bring."

"I told him that following the consultations that we'll have in the coming days with allies and partners, we anticipate that we will be able to share with Russia our concerns and ideas in more detail and in writing next week, and we agreed to further discussions after that," Blinken added, while still emphasizing that Moscow's central demands concerning which countries can be in NATO remains a "non-starter". 

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