Politics

US Embassy Belarus Orders Diplomat Families to Leave

It was bound to happen, given the buildup of Russian troops on the border of Belarus and Ukraine: US Embassy Belarus (aka the State Department) has ordered all families of its staff to leave and placed it under a Level 4 Travel Alert. The Embassy reportedly will shut down on February 21 with the exception of guards, according to some media reports. Others stated the shutdown will start today, Feb 1.

US State Department map

Do not Travel to Belarus due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, and unusual and concerning Russian military buildup along Belarus’ border with Ukraine. Reconsider travel due to COVID-19 and related entry restrictions.

On January 31, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees.

Due to an increase in unusual and concerning Russian military activity near the border with Ukraine, U.S. citizens located in or considering travel to Belarus should be aware that the situation is unpredictable and there is heightened tension in the region. On January 23, 2022, the Department of State also authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees (USDH) and ordered the departure of eligible family members (EFM) from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action. Potential harassment targeted specifically at foreigners is also possible.  Given the heightened volatility of the situation, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling to Belarus.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Belarus is already severely limited due to Belarusian government limitations on U.S. Embassy staffing.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to exercise increased awareness and vigilance regarding political and military tensions in the region. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid public demonstrations and to regularly reevaluate possible departure plans in the event of an emergency.

For US Embassy Belarus – US State Department Travel Advisory

Screenshot Russian tanks on the border of Belarus (Twitter)

US Embassy Belarus evac – Is the Biden administration driving the push for war?

Russia has called the US actions “megaphone diplomacy” and says it has no plans to invade Ukraine. The President of Ukraine says he told the US not to “panic” over the situation after a recent phone call with Biden.

This is not our first phone call with President Biden. I would like to thank him, he is not just interested in Ukrainian developments, but he knows lots of details in terms of what is going on in Ukraine.

We are grateful to the United States for their ongoing support to our sovereignty and territorial integrity. But I am the president of Ukraine. I am based here. And I think I know the details better than any other president.

The question is not about the U.S. president. It is important that the president should know the situation from me, not from the intermediaries.

We do not see a bigger escalation than it has been before. Yes, the number of troops has gone up, but I was talking about this in early 2021 when there were drills in the Russian Federation, there was a big buildup… I don’t think the situation is more intense than it was at that time… there was no such coverage at that time of Ukraine.

We told the American president there has to be a balanced approach. I’m not saying he is influencing American media, the independent, but the media policy there has to be well-balanced. If they want to know what the situation is they can come to Kiev. Do we have tanks on the street? No.” President Volodymyr Zelensky translation from Ukrainian Press Conference (Real Clear Politics)

Not counting the action by US Embassy Belarus, the administration sent 500 tons of military aid so far as of Feb 1, according to Oleksii Reznikov, Ukraine’s Defense Minister.

You get to decide: imminent invasion or a push for war?

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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