Kuwait urges citizens to leave Ukraine amid escalation

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Kuwait on Saturday urged its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.

Kuwait’s foreign ministry also said citizens should postpone any plans to visit Ukraine.

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Russia has massed troops near the Ukraine border and has sent troops to exercises in neighboring Belarus, but insistently denies that it intends to launch an offensive against Ukraine.

Adding to the sense of crisis, the Pentagon ordered an additional 3,000 US troops to Poland to reassure allies.

Biden has said the US military will not enter a war in Ukraine, but he has promised severe economic sanctions against Moscow, in concert with international allies.

The timing of any possible Russian military action remains a key question.

Many other countries including the US, UK, Belgium and several other European countries have called on their citizens in Ukraine to leave the country as the Russia-Ukraine tensions escalate.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters in Washington on Friday that an attack by the more than 100,000 Russian troops currently massed next to Ukraine “could occur any day now” and said Americans in Ukraine “should leave as soon as possible.”

Russia, a main player in the escalation, also “optimized” its diplomatic staff numbers in Ukraine, fearing “provocations” by Kyiv or other party, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry said on Saturday.

Spokesperson Maria Zakharova did not say whether that meant a reduction in staff numbers but said the embassy and consulates in Ukraine continued to perform their key functions.

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