After a 3-month long closure which was triggered by the Russian military build-up and invasion of Ukraine, the United States on Wednesday announced the formal reopening of the US embassy in the capital of Kyiv.
“Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv,” a statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed.
The embassy had initially shuttered, with diplomats and their families told to make plans to exit the country, starting on Feb. 14, which was ten days ahead of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Blinken has indicated that initially a small group of diplomats will return to staff the embassy, but noted that consular operations will not immediately resume amid the ongoing war in the country.
The ‘do not travel’ advisory for all American citizens remains in place, with the State Dept confirming there’s been no change in status concerning this warning. It’s further not expected that consular operations will resume as normal anytime soon.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) May 18, 2022
Despite occasional Russian missile strikes still hitting as far west as Lviv, cities significantly away from where fighting is raging in the east and south have remained relatively safe and stable, especially following the Russian military’s declaration last month that it would focus on liberating the Donbas.
Reuters notes that “Many western countries, including France, Germany and Britain have reopened their embassies in Kyiv over the past month, after Russian troops pulled back from Ukraine’s north to focus on an offensive in the east of the country.”