Canada is withdrawing non-essential staff from the Canadian embassy in Ukraine as concerns about the threat of a Russian incursion grow.
In a statement on SundayGlobal Affairs Canada said it was temporarily withdrawing non-essential Canadian employees and remaining dependents from the embassy in Kiev.
Canada Orders Diplomats’ Families to Leave Ukraine as Fears Rise Over Russian Threat
On Monday, Canada ordered the families of diplomats stationed at the embassy in Ukraine to leave the country due to the “continuing Russian military build-up and destabilizing activities” in the region.
“As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our highest priority remains the safety of Canadians,” the GAC said in a statement on Sunday.
“As announced earlier this week, Canada will reinforce the team at the Canadian Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, with staff with experience in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, services consular services and diplomacy,” the GAC said.
“Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine.”
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Putin Practices ‘Psychological Warfare’ on Ukraine Border: Former Ambassador
With more than 100,000 Russian troops concentrated on the Ukrainian border, US and NATO allies have spent weeks warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin is about to once again invade the former Soviet state.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Russia was looking for “excuses” to escalate hostilities against Ukraine.
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Putin has denied any intention to invade Ukraine, saying the increased military presence is in response to Western provocations.
Canada and other NATO allies have urged Russia to help craft a diplomatic solution to the current tensions, but several of Russia’s demands, including a ban on Ukraine joining NATO, are seen as impossible.
Amid the tensions, the United States and the United Kingdom also removed the families of their diplomats in Ukraine and authorized some of their embassy staff to leave the country, citing concerns about the possibility of a Russian invasion.
The member states of the European Union, by contrast, have kept their diplomats’ dependents in place.
— with files from Alex Boutilier of Global News
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