Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Germans must leave Ukraine

From: 02/12/2022 6:21 p.m.

Following US warnings of a Russian attack, German citizens will also have to leave Ukraine. At the same time, diplomacy is in full swing, with Biden and Putin on the phone, among others. An incident with an American submarine causes unrest.

As part of the escalation of the conflict with Russia, the German government has now asked its citizens to leave Ukraine. “If you are currently in Ukraine, check if your presence is absolutely necessary. If not, leave the country as soon as possible,” said a statement from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry warned: “Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have risen in recent days due to the massive presence and movement of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border. “Military conflict cannot be ruled out.”

The federal government issues a travel warning for Ukraine

Nadine Bader, ARD Berlin, Daily News at 8:00 pm, February 12, 2022

Embassy staff will be reduced

The German embassy in Ukraine will not be closed for the time being, but some of the workers are expected to leave the country. “We will keep our embassy in Kyiv open,” Foreign Minister Annalena Bayerbok said during a visit to Egypt. However, the number of employees will decrease.

This also applies to German institutions such as KfW, the International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and German teachers. The family members of the embassy staff will also have to leave the country.

“Germany continues to work with its partners with all its might to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict,” he said. That is why Chancellor Olaf Soltz will travel to Moscow this week. The message is: “We are ready for dialogue.” At the same time, you need to be prepared for all possible scenarios.

Several other countries – including the United States, Great Britain and Denmark – have previously asked their citizens to leave the country. Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic have also announced it. The US government had recently warned of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine before the end of next week.

Russia rejects US warning

Russia’s embassy in the United States, meanwhile, has dismissed US warnings as unfounded. The Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, said an “alarm” was being spread without providing any evidence to support the allegations. The statements in Washington only showed that the US had intensified the “propaganda campaign against our country”.

Kerstin Klein, ARD Washington, on diplomatic efforts in the Ukrainian crisis

Tagesschau 8:00 pm, February 12, 2022

The United States wanted society to have the impression that aggression was “inevitable,” Antonov said. People “swell in the eyes” with some intelligence information, without giving details. “Politicians’ comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during or after the Olympics are not supported by any evidence,” the diplomat said. The leadership in Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Russia has no plans to attack anyone.

Submarine incident in the USA

An incident in the Far East of Russia has caused unrest. According to information from Moscow, a warship in Russian waters near the Kuril Islands spotted a US submarine. The requests for an extension were ignored, so the Russian destroyer “took the appropriate measures”, he said without further explanation. The submarine then left Russian waters “at full speed”. Then the Ministry of Defense in Moscow called the US military attaché.

Biden telephoned Putin

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis are in full swing. Most recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden spoke to each other – nothing was initially known about the content. French President Emmanuel Macron had previously spoken by telephone with Putin. The Elysee Palace later said the 90-minute conversation was about, among other things, how the Minsk Peace Accords could be implemented in eastern Ukraine. Macron has said that the serious negotiations are incompatible with the escalation of tension for Ukraine.

According to the Kremlin, Putin dismissed reports of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine as a “provocative speculation.” He accused Kiev’s Western allies of supplying “modern weapons” to Ukraine. It would create “conditions for possible offensive by Ukrainian security forces” in eastern Ukraine.

Kerstin Klein, ARD Washington, in a telephone conversation between Biden and Putin

tagesschau24 7:00 pm, 12.2.2022

Warning of a possible attack

Biden’s security adviser, Sullivan, recently made it clear that the United States considers a Russian invasion of Ukraine possible ahead of the end of the Winter Olympics in China on February 20. “We are in a window where an invasion could begin at any time if Vladimir Putin decides to order it,” he said. He added: “We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new troops arriving at the Ukrainian border.” However, Sullivan also stressed that the US government had no information that Putin had already made the final decision to invade.

Kyiv warns of panic

The Ukrainian government has warned of panic over US reports. “If you or anyone else has additional information about a 100 percent invasion on February 16, please give us this information,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told reporters. Kyiv knows there are dangers. However, there are many reports in public about a major war between Russia and Ukraine.

You are prepared for anything. But: “The best friend for the enemy is the panic in our country”, Selenskyj addressed the western journalists in English. All this information would only create panic and would not help Ukraine.

US and Russia are reducing embassy staff

In view of the tensions, Russia and the United States are reducing the staff of their embassies in Ukraine. A large number of staff will be retired, the State Department said. The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that “for fear of possible provocations from the regime in Kiev or other countries” the staff in the Russian delegations has been reduced.

The US Department of Defense has also decided that the 160 National Guard stationed in Ukraine should be temporarily deployed to another European country. Together with soldiers from other NATO countries, they advised and trained the Ukrainian army.

The United States is also transporting about 3,000 additional troops to NATO ally Poland. The troops should be at the scene early next week, the defense ministry said.

The U.S. Air Force has also deployed eight F-16 fighter jets in Romania. The planes arrived at Borcea Air Base, 150km east of Bucharest, the Romanian Defense Ministry said. They will participate with 150 US soldiers in joint exercises with the Romanian army, the statement said. The maneuvers are expected to last two weeks.

Federal Foreign Ministry urges Germans in Ukraine to leave the country

Andreas Reuter, ARD Berlin, 12 February 2022 12:47 p.m.

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