The Dutch ministry of foreign affairs said Saturday it was moving its embassy in Ukraine to Poland to ensure the safety of its staff after Russia’s invasion of the pro-Western country.
“Foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra has decided that ambassador Jennes de Mol and his team will immediately move to Jaroslaw, on the Polish side of the border with Ukraine, to continue their work there,” the ministry said in a statement.
Prior to the Russian invasion, The Hague had already moved its embassy in Kyiv to Lviv, 70 kilometers (40 miles) from the Polish border in the west of Ukraine last Sunday.
Since then, nearly 30 Dutch citizens living in Ukraine have contacted the embassy for help, either for travel documents, advice on moving to Poland, or simply for food or someone to talk to, the ministry said.
But the situation was now becoming “increasingly dangerous in Lviv,” too, the ministry said, adding that the authorities would continue to help any Dutch citizens wanting to leave Ukraine.
“If necessary and the security situation allows, team members will also cross over to the Ukrainian side of the border to provide assistance.”
The Netherlands had advised its citizens to leave Ukraine on February 12.
“Our advice to Dutch citizens is still to leave the country if it is safe to do so, or if not, to look for a safe place,” the ministry said.
“It’s not a question of the Dutch government evacuating people.”
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