The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, José Manuel Albares, has ruled out this Monday evacuating diplomatic personnel and to resident Spanish citizens in Ukraine due to heightened tensions with Russia, in a call for calm in the face of the security crisis caused by military pressure from Moscow. After the United States has begun work to evacuate the families of diplomatic personnel in Kiev, the Spanish minister has refused to follow in their footsteps and has an “appeal for calm”.
“We are not considering evacuating our neighborhood or the Embassy. I follow the situation minute by minute and before any evolution we will react quickly”, explained at a press conference from Brussels after participating in the Foreign Affairs Council. Albares explained that the Ministry he directs monitors the Spanish community in Ukraine, made up of some 500 compatriots, who are informed “on time” of developments in security.
The escalation of tensions on the border with Ukraine, where Russia concentrates tens of thousands of troops and military means, has generated alarm about a possible aggression, in the face of which the EU, in coordination with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada prepares unprecedented sanctions. The message from the head of Spanish diplomacy is added to that of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who this Monday asked “not to dramatize” when asked about a possible withdrawal of European diplomatic personnel. “I don’t think we should dramatize as long as the negotiations continue, and they are underway”, Borrell assured upon arrival at the meeting.
Along the same lines, Albares has insisted that in the face of the open crisis “it is not necessary to aggravate the situation”b, emphasizing that, although “tense”, the dialogue with Moscow is maintained to avoid an escalation of war. Foreign proceeded to update its travel recommendations on Ukraine last Friday. In them, it indicates that due to the “volatility of the current situation, it is not recommended to travel to Ukraine except for essential travel reasons.” In any case, travel to Crimea and the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk is discouraged, suggesting to the Spaniards who are in them that they do not remain “beyond the essential time”.