Russia-Ukraine war: The United States on Monday,February 28, suspended operations at its embassy in Minsk, Belarus, and authorised the “voluntary” departure of non-emergency staff and family in Moscow, Russia.
The move by the US Department of State came soon after an official said if Belarus continued to aid and abet Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, it would face consequences.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the suspension of operations at the Minsk embassy and the authorized departure from Moscow in a statement on Monday.
“We took these steps due to security and safety issues stemming from the unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces in Ukraine,” he said.
A meeting between representatives of Ukraine and Russia was currently underway along the border in Belarus on day 5 of the conflict. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had initially refused to hold peace talks in Belarus alleging it to be the serving ground for Russia’s aggression.
Meanwhile, with fighting continuing in the suburbs of Kyiv and around the key cities of Kharkiv and Chernihiv, Zelenskiy said the day will be critical for Ukraine’s fate.
Unprecendented sanctions were imposed on Russia that targeted its banks, companies and individuals leading to a collapse in the ruble and prompting the central bank to impose capital controls to try and avert investor panic and shore up the economy.