Britain on Friday urged its nationals in Ukraine to “leave now while commercial means are still available” amid fears about an escalation of the crisis on the Russia/Ukraine border.
The Foreign Office “now advises against all travel to Ukraine. British nationals in Ukraine should leave now while commercial means are still available”, it said in an update on its website.
Also on Friday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan called on Americans to immediately leave Ukraine, warning a Russian attack “is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians.”
The United States also updated its travel advisory on Ukraine to a level 4, the highest in its four-tier system, on Thursday. The U.S. Department of State urged Americans not to travel to Ukraine “due to the increased threats of Russian military action and COVID-19.”
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Americans currently in Ukraine were told to leave immediately via private or commercial means.
The U.S. travel advisory also stated that the U.S. government will be unable to evacuate Americans if Russian military action occurs in Ukraine.
The White House issued a warning Friday that any U.S. citizens still in Ukraine should leave in the next “24 to 48 hours.”
Several EU countries have also asked their nationals to leave Ukraine, notably Belgium, Estonia, and Lithuania.
Belgium on Saturday advised its nationals to leave Ukraine.
Belgium joins the US and several European countries, who have called on their citizens in Ukraine to leave the country for fear war breaks out.
“Nationals who are currently in Ukraine and whose presence is not strictly necessary in the country are strongly advised to leave the country,” the Belgian foreign ministry said on its website.
It said it strongly advised against travel to the country, adding that an evacuation could not be guaranteed.
The ministry said that in case of a “sudden deterioration, communication links including internet and telephone lines could be seriously affected” and air links hampered.
The European Union has told non-essential staff from its diplomatic mission in Ukraine to leave the country but has not issued an evacuation order.