One day after United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, family members of personnel in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine were told to evacuate.
“State Department orders families of U.S. embassy personnel in Ukraine to begin evacuating the country as soon as Monday: U.S. officials,” wrote Fox reporter Lucas Tomlinson in a Saturday morning post to Twitter.
The State Department Friday reportedly considered pulling diplomats’ families out of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, due to fears of an impending Russian invasion.
Russia has staged a large number of offensive weapons and military personnel close to the Ukraine border. A Fox News report estimated the number of troops massed at the border to be around 100,000.
Ukrainians expressed concern about remarks Wednesday by U.S. President Joe Biden that indicated the U.S. would not retaliate against a “minor” Russian invasion. Blinken’s Friday meeting with Lavrov was reportedly an attempt to walk back the premise that limited Ukraine invasions would not be responded to forcefully.
The high-level diplomatic meeting followed clarification on Biden’s remarks issued by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, as reported by The Daily Wire.
“It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not do,” Biden told reporters regarding what Russia might do. “But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine.”
Later that day, Psaki released her clarification.
“President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies,” Psaki said. “President Biden also knows from long experience that the Russians have an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics. And he affirmed today that those acts of Russian aggression will be met with a decisive, reciprocal, and united response.”
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