Amid the looming threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Indian mission there has asked Indian students, especially those whose stay is not essential, to return to India. Those who would remain behind in Ukraine are to stay in touch with the embassy.
The United States, too, is relocating its Ukraine embassy operations from the capital Kyiv to the western city of Lviv, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday, citing a “dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces.”
The move comes as US officials warned that Moscow was continuing to amass more than 100,000 troops near Russia’s border with Ukraine and in neighboring Belarus, and could at any time launch a devastating attack, including on Kyiv. Russia, however, denied Western accusations that it is planning an invasion.
The Biden Administration has repeatedly warned Russia of “severe consequences” in case its forces invade Ukraine and has insisted on a diplomatic solution to the issue.
“We are actively working to reach a diplomatic solution to de-escalate the crisis. Over the weekend, as you all know, the President spoke with President Putin, and we remain engaged with the Russian government in full coordination with our allies and partners,” White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.
“The path for diplomacy remains available if Russia chooses to engage constructively,” she said.
The threat of an invasion comes after “failed” dialogues between Russia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) and Western powers over Ukraine’s inclusion in the world body.