Irish citizens in Ukraine told to ‘leave immediately by commercial means’

2022-05-01 0 By

Ireland’s foreign ministry said Irish citizens in Ukraine should “leave immediately by commercial means”.Meanwhile, a number of other countries have issued similar advice to their citizens because of tensions on Russia’s borders.The Foreign Office last night updated its advice, urging British citizens to “leave immediately while commercial means are still available”.It comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised concerns about European security in phone calls with Western leaders including US President Joe Biden.Germany today told all its nationals in Ukraine to leave if they “do not have to”, saying “military conflict cannot be ruled out”.Last night, Ireland’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying that “ongoing engagement” with EU partners was under way, and officials now say Irish citizens should leave the country.In a statement this afternoon, the Foreign Office said: “Following intensive consultations overnight and this morning with OUR EU partners in Kiev and Brussels, as well as other partners, the Foreign Office has upgraded its travel advice for Ukraine.We advise against travel to Ukraine and ask citizens currently in Ukraine to leave immediately by commercial means.”For the latest travel advice, go to Dfa. ie/ Travel.Any Irish citizen in need of urgent consular assistance should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs on +353 1 4082000.The Irish embassy in Kiev will remain open “with a small number of essential staff,” the ministry added.Officials said the position was “consistent” with other partner countries but would be “kept under review”.The foreign Office added: “In recent days the department has been in direct contact with all those planning to travel to Ukraine for surrogacy.”The Department will continue to provide advice to these individuals and families relevant to their specific circumstances.Today, the United States ordered all non-emergency embassy staff in Kiev to leave, citing “the continuing threat of Russian military action.”Russia also said it had begun withdrawing some of its embassy staff from Ukraine because of concerns about “possible provocations by the Kiev regime.”Us Assessment US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan earlier said the possibility of an attack before the End of the Games on February 20 was “credible” and called it a “very, very clear possibility”.He said new Russian troops were arriving at the border and could at any moment “launch a major military operation in Ukraine,” which could include “a quick attack on the city of Kiev or other parts of the country.”Speaking at the White House, Sullivan said Russia had the option of “beginning significant military action in Ukraine at very short notice,” but stressed that the United States did not know if Putin had made a final decision.Sullivan said “the threat is now urgent enough” and urged Americans to leave “as soon as possible, in the next 24 to 48 hours by all means.”