MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian diplomats and employees of the Russian consulates started leaving Ukraine, which made it more difficult to make an appointment at the diplomatic agencies, an informed source told Sputnik on Saturday.
“According to Ukrainian citizens, Russian diplomats and consular officials in Ukraine have begun to leave for Russia. This, in particular, is proved by difficulties arising when making an appointment at the consulates and the embassy,” the source said. The source added that Moscow might have decided to follow the example of some Western countries which announced its evacuation from Ukraine.
“By the way, [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov hinted at the possibility of this scenario during a press conference following negotiations with UK Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss,” the source said.
In January, a number of Western countries announced the evacuation of their diplomatic missions from Ukraine. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow may also advise non-essential personnel at its diplomatic missions in Kiev to leave the country. He stressed that Russia has become concerned by the evacuations of staff by the United Kingdom and the United States as it looks as if “there were preparations for something” in Ukraine.
Against the background of continuing allegations that Moscow is set to “invade” the neighbouring country and Russia’s repeated denials that is the case, the Russian Foreign Ministry argued on Friday that one can talk about the conspiracy of the authorities of Western countries and the media to escalate artificial tension around Ukraine.
“We can talk about the conspiracy of the authorities of Western countries and the media in order to escalate artificial tension around Ukraine through a massive and coordinated stuffing of false information in geopolitical interests, in particular, in order to divert attention from their own aggressive actions,” the statement says.
The ministry noted that amid the media war against Russia, “the position of Western officials in the context of a massive disinformation campaign against Russia deserves special mention”. “They avoid giving it a proper assessment in every possible way, thereby essentially confirming their involvement in fakes and stuffing,” the foreign ministry stated.