‘Nothing new’: Ukraine plays down Biden’s evacuation call

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Ukraine on Friday played down US President Joe Biden’s call on Americans to leave immediately, stressing it was not a sign of an imminent Russian invasion.

Biden on Thursday urged US citizens to “leave now” because of the threat posed by Russian forces who have surrounded Ukraine, launching massive military drills.

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Kyiv has tried to calm the tensions, disagreeing with US intelligence assessments that an all-out war could break out at any moment.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Biden was simply restating earlier guidance from the US State Department.

“There is nothing new in this statement. We know the position of the United States, which has already made such statements,” Kuleba told reporters.

“They have already started evacuating some of their embassy staff and family members. This statement is not evidence of some radical change of the situation.”

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