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20220228

US suspends operations at Belarus embassy, authorises non-emergency staff in Russia to leave

Washington [US]: US Department of State has suspended operations at US Embassy in Minsk, Belarus and authorized the "voluntary" departure of non-emergency staff and family members in Moscow, Russia, a release issued by the State Department said on Monday. "Suspending Operations at US Embassy Minsk and Change in Status for US Embassy Moscow. The US Department of State has suspended operations at our Embassy in Minsk, Belarus and authorized the voluntary departure ("authorized departure") of non-emergency employees and family members at our Embassy in Moscow, Russia," the statement read. "We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine," it added.The Department of State continually adjusts its posture at embassies and consulates throughout the world in line with its mission, the local security environment, and the health situation. "We ultimately have no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens, and that includes our US government personnel and their dependents serving around the world," the statement said further. Russian military continues to advance in the capital city of Ukraine, according to media reports. Explosions in parts of Kyiv were heard on Friday as Russian forces approached the city, media reports said on Saturday.

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