U.S. tells diplomats' families to leave Ukraine, weighs troop options



* US says families of American diplomats must leave Ukraine

* President Joe Biden mulling additional troops for region

* UK says Moscow wants to put pro-Russian leader in Ukraine

By David Shepardson and Paul Sandle

WASHINGTON/LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department announced Sunday it was ordering diplomats' family members to leave Ukraine, as U.S. President Joe Biden weighed options for boosting America's military assets in Eastern Europe to counter a buildup of Russian troops.

The order, which also allowed U.S. diplomats stationed at the embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to leave voluntarily, was one of the clearest signs yet that American officials are bracing for an aggressive Russian move in the region.

"Military action by Russia could come at any time," the U.S. Embassy said Link in a statement. Officials "will not be in a position to evacuate American citizens in such a contingency, so U.S. citizens currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly," it added.

Ukrainian foreign ministry said in a statement that it considered the move as "premature and a manifestation of excessive caution."

"In fact, there have been no cardinal changes in the security situation recently: the threat of new waves of Russian aggression has remained constant since 2014 and the buildup of Russian troops near the state border began in April last year," it said.

Tensions in Ukraine have been increasing for months after the Kremlin massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, a dramatic buildup the West says is preparation for a war to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the NATO Western security alliance.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied planning to invade, but the Russian military already tore off a chunk of Ukrainian territory when it seized Crimea and backed separatist forces who took control of large parts of eastern Ukraine eight years ago.

The State Department's announcement comes a day after British authorities said they had information the Russian government was considering a former Ukrainian lawmaker Link as a potential candidate to head a pro-Russian leadership in Kyiv.

The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the British allegation as "disinformation," accusing NATO of "escalating tensions" over Ukraine.

TROOPS AND SANCTIONS

Biden has begun considering options for boosting America's military assets in the region, senior administration officials said, after meeting with top national security aides at his Camp David retreat on Saturday.

The New York Times said Biden was mulling plans to send 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the possibility of increasing the number should tensions flare further.

A senior administration official declined to confirm the numbers on Sunday but said "we are developing plans and we are consulting with allies to determine options moving forward."

The United States has sent military assistance to Ukraine but has so far held back from sending American personnel.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has rebuffed calls to immediately impose economic sanctions on Russia, saying on Sunday that doing so would undercut the West's ability to deter potential Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Blinken was due to meet virtually with members of the European Union's Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday.

As U.S. troop deployments were discussed, a separate senior administration official said U.S. economic penalties on Russia would have far-reaching consequences should it drive any further into Ukraine.

The United States would use the Foreign Direct Product Rule to restrict the export to Russia of products incorporating microelectronics based on U.S. equipment, software or technology.

Britain has also promised stiff sanctions, with British Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab telling Sky News there would be "very serious consequences if Russia takes this move to try and invade."

British officials say they have information the Russian government was considering former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev as a potential candidate to head a pro-Russian government in Kyiv.

Murayev poured cold water on the notion.

"This morning I already read in all the news publications this conspiracy theory: absolutely unproven, absolutely unfounded," Murayev told Reuters Link in a video call, adding he was considering legal action.

He denied having any contact with Russian intelligence officers and dismissed the idea that he could be in league with the Kremlin as "stupid," given he was placed under Russian sanctions in 2018.

Although he says he wants Ukraine to be independent from Russia as well as the West, Murayev Link 45, has promoted some views that align with the Kremlin's narratives on Ukraine.

The British foreign ministry declined to provide evidence to back its accusations.

In a message to Reuters, Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian adviser to the presidential office, said there was doubt among Ukrainians as to whether Murayev was "too ridiculous a figure" to be the Kremlin's pick to lead Ukraine.

But Russia had propped up previously minor figures in leadership positions in annexed Crimea and separatist-held eastern Ukraine, he added.

Therefore "one should take this information as seriously as possible," he said.



EXPLAINER-Who is Yevhen Murayev, named by Britain as Kremlin's
pick to lead Ukraine?

EXPLAINER-How Western economic sanctions might target Russia Ukrainian politician mocks 'stupid' UK claims he could lead Kremlin puppet government



Reporting by Michael Holden and Paul Sandle in London, Natalia Zinets in Kyiv; Additional reporting by Matthias Williams in Kyiv, Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, and David Shepardson and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by Raphael Satter, Raissa Kasolowsky, and Frances Kerry; Editing by Alexander Smith, Chris Reese, Kenneth Maxwell and Lincoln Feast.


Pinakabagong Balita

British Business - May 17

S
T

Financial Times - May 17

R

Japan's Nomura targets FY2024/2025 core pretax income of 350 bln-390 bln yen


Tokyo's Nikkei share average opens up 0.03 pct

J

Oil hedge funds caught between sanctions and recession: Kemp

Disclaimer: Ang mga kabilang sa XM Group ay nagbibigay lang ng serbisyo sa pagpapatupad at pag-access sa aming Online Trading Facility, kung saan pinapahintulutan nito ang pagtingin at/o paggamit sa nilalaman na makikita sa website o sa pamamagitan nito, at walang layuning palitan o palawigin ito, at hindi din ito papalitan o papalawigin. Ang naturang pag-access at paggamit ay palaging alinsunod sa: (i) Mga Tuntunin at Kundisyon; (ii) Mga Babala sa Risk; at (iii) Kabuuang Disclaimer. Kaya naman ang naturang nilalaman ay ituturing na pangkalahatang impormasyon lamang. Mangyaring isaalang-alang na ang mga nilalaman ng aming Online Trading Facility ay hindi paglikom, o alok, para magsagawa ng anumang transaksyon sa mga pinansyal na market. Ang pag-trade sa alinmang pinansyal na market ay nagtataglay ng mataas na lebel ng risk sa iyong kapital.

Lahat ng materyales na nakalathala sa aming Online Trading Facility ay nakalaan para sa layuning edukasyonal/pang-impormasyon lamang at hindi naglalaman – at hindi dapat ituring bilang naglalaman – ng payo at rekomendasyon na pangpinansyal, tungkol sa buwis sa pag-i-invest, o pang-trade, o tala ng aming presyo sa pag-trade, o alok para sa, o paglikom ng, transaksyon sa alinmang pinansyal na instrument o hindi ginustong pinansyal na promosyon.

Sa anumang nilalaman na galing sa ikatlong partido, pati na ang mga nilalaman na inihanda ng XM, ang mga naturang opinyon, balita, pananaliksik, pag-analisa, presyo, ibang impormasyon o link sa ibang mga site na makikita sa website na ito ay ibibigay tulad ng nandoon, bilang pangkalahatang komentaryo sa market at hindi ito nagtataglay ng payo sa pag-i-invest. Kung ang alinmang nilalaman nito ay itinuring bilang pananaliksik sa pag-i-invest, kailangan mong isaalang-alang at tanggapin na hindi ito inilaan at inihanda alinsunod sa mga legal na pangangailangan na idinisenyo para maisulong ang pagsasarili ng pananaliksik sa pag-i-invest, at dahil dito ituturing ito na komunikasyon sa marketing sa ilalim ng mga kaugnay na batas at regulasyon. Mangyaring siguruhin na nabasa at naintindihan mo ang aming Notipikasyon sa Hindi Independyenteng Pananaliksik sa Pag-i-invest at Babala sa Risk na may kinalaman sa impormasyong nakalagay sa itaas, na maa-access dito.

Gumagamit kami ng cookies para mabigyan ka ng mahusay na karanasan sa aming website. Magbasa pa o palitan ang iyong cookie settings.

Babala sa Risk: Maaaring malugi ang iyong kapital. Maaaring hindi nababagay sa lahat ang mga produktong naka-leverage. Mangyaring isaalang-alang ang aming Pahayag sa Risk.