Embassy staff depart as security situation in Ukraine reaches ‘very dangerous stage’: PM

By Jackson Graham

February 14, 2022

Marise Payne
Foreign minister Marise Payne. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Australia has directed staff to depart at its embassy in Ukraine’s capital and suspended operations as the security situation at the Russian border worsens. 

Foreign minister Marise Payne said on Sunday operations would move from Kyiv to Lviv, near the country’s border with Poland. 

“We continue to advise Australians to leave Ukraine immediately by commercial means. Security conditions could change at short notice,” Payne said in a statement

Russian military action in Ukraine will severely limit our ability to provide consular assistance to Australians.” 

Prime minister Scott Morrison said there had been three remaining Australian diplomats in Kyiv who would now move. 

“I want to thank particularly those three Australian-based staff who have been there supporting in a consulate way,” Morrison at a press conference.

“The situation … is deteriorating and is reaching a very dangerous stage. 

The autocratic unilateral actions of Russia to be threatening and bullying Ukraine is something that is completely and utterly unacceptable.”

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has downplayed warnings from the US that Russia could be planning to invade this week. 

Australia had directed dependents of embassy staff in Ukraine’s capital to leave the country in January.


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