US Embassy in Minsk calls on Americans to leave Belarus immediately
As the US prepares to withdraw its diplomats from Ukraine, it has called on its citizens to leave yet another country in Eastern Europe.
The US Embassy in Minsk issued a statement urging Americans to leave Belarus “immediately”.
"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, COVID-19, and related entry restrictions," the embassy said in the statement on its website.
"U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately via commercial or private means," it said.
US opens welcome center in Poland for Americans leaving Ukraine
In the meantime, the United States has opened a welcome center in Poland for US citizens leaving Ukraine, the US Embassy in Ukraine said in a statement.
"U.S. citizens may now enter Poland across the land border with Ukraine. No advanced approval is required," the Embassy said.
"The U.S. Embassy has opened a Welcome Center near these border crossing points to provide assistance to U.S. citizens entering Poland from Ukraine," it also said.
The mission also urged Americans to leave Ukraine as soon as possible.
"U.S. citizens in Ukraine should depart immediately using commercial or other privately available transportation options.” said.
This step comes as part of the Biden administration’s mission to withdraw all American diplomats from Kyiv.
The US State Department said last Saturday that the United States will move some of its diplomatic staff from the Ukrainian capital to the city of Lviv, amid security concerns.
The Department has also urged its citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible, and Poland has agreed to help Americans leave Kyiv by simplifying entry procedures, according to the US Embassy in Ukraine.
The West, led by the United States, accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of planning an attack in Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics on February 20.
On its part, Russia repeatedly denied these allegations and accused Western countries of spreading lies to divert attention from their aggressive actions.