NATO temporarily closed office in Kiev, relocates staff to Brussels, Lviv

Murmansk [Russia]February 19 (ANI/Sputnik): NATO has decided to temporarily close its Kiev office and transfer the staff to Brussels and Lviv, but the alliance’s mission in Ukraine still functions, a NATO representative said on Saturday.

The alliance is monitoring and assessing the situation around Ukraine and taking the precautions needed, the representative wrote in an e-mail to Norway’s Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper. The security of the employees is the top-priority for NATO, so the staff moved to Lviv and Brussels. The offices are still operational in Ukraine, the official added, according to VG.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia announced last week their decision to move their embassies from the Ukrainian capital to the country’s western city of Lviv over the security situation. Norway has not done so yet, and is closely watching the developments, the newspaper added.

Many countries chose to evacuate their non-essential diplomatic staff and families of the diplomats from Ukraine over the deterioration of the security situation. Nationals of many countries including Germany, New Zealand, Belgium, and Finland were also advised to leave Ukraine as soon as possible and desist from non-essential trips there.

Moscow has rejected all accusations of the West and Ukraine of alleged preparations for invasion of its neighbor and stated that it is not threatening anyone. It also expressed strong concerns over NATO’s military activity near its borders, which it deems a threat to the national security. (ANI/Sputnik)

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