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German nationals urged to leave Ukraine

February 12, 2022

Germany has closed its Donetsk consulate and asked nationals to leave Ukraine unless their presence is strictly required. The US and a number of European countries have also urged their citizens to leave.

An outside view of the German embassy in Kyiv
The United States has warned that Russia could invade Ukraine at any timeImage: Anna Marchenko/TASS/picture alliance/dpa

Germany's Foreign Ministry advised its citizens to leave Ukraine on Saturday after it said a conflict in the region "cannot be excluded" while fears remain that Russia plans to invade its neighbor.

The ministry also said it was closing its consulate in Donetsk, in the east of Ukraine.

'Massive' Russian troop movements sparks concern

"Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have again shot up in the last few days due to the massive movements of Russian military units near the Ukrainian border," Berlin's Foreign Ministry said.

"If you are currently in Ukraine, make sure that your presence is absolutely necessary. If it is not, leave the country shortly."

Baerbock: 'We must be prepared for all scenarios'

Despite the call, Germany remains hopeful of finding a solution to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, but added, "We must be prepared for all scenarios."

Baerbock also said Germany was reducing its representation in Ukraine. "We will keep our embassy open in Kyiv but reduce diplomatic staff," she said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to visit both Ukraine and Russia for talks next week.

Russia could invade 'at any time,' US warns

The news comes soon after the United States urged its citizens to leave Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning that Russian forces could invade "at any time."

The US, and now Germany, join Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and the Netherlands in calling upon their citizens to leave Ukraine.

jsi/dj (dpa, AFP, Reuters)