Australia evacuates embassy in Kiev and urges citizens to flee NOW amid fears Russia could invade Ukraine with 100,000 troops as early as Wednesday
- Foreign minister Marise Payne said government had directed staff to leave
- Australia moving operations to temporary office in Lviv in western Ukraine
- Government already warned Australians in Ukraine to leave immediately
Australia’s embassy in Ukraine is being evacuated amid fears Russian troops are preparing to invade.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne said the government directed staff to leave the embassy in Kiev.
‘Given the deteriorating security situation caused by the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, the government has directed the departure of staff at the Australian Embassy in Kiev and temporarily suspended operations at our embassy,’ Ms Payne said on Sunday.
Russian and Belarusian troops taking part in a military exercise in Belarus on February 11, 2022
‘We will be moving our operations to a temporary office in Lviv (in western Ukraine).’
The government had already warned that Australians in Ukraine should leave immediately as conditions could change at short notice.
‘Russian military action in Ukraine will severely limit our ability to provide consular assistance to Australians,’ Ms Payne said.
‘Australia continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain in close contact with our Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and US) and other like-minded partners on the ground.’
Labor leader Anthony Albanese called for Russia to withdraw from the region.
‘Russia should back off,’ he told Sky News.
‘The threats and intimidation that’s occurring to a sovereign state like the Ukraine are entirely inappropriate in 2022, and we respect Ukraine sovereignty and that should be respected by all including by Russia.’
Australians who need consular assistance regarding Ukraine can call the Australian government 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 or +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia.
Map of Ukraine and its borders with Russia and Belarus, military targets and possible invasion options (pictured)
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk