Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, said Washington has no definitive information that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an invasion.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday that Washington recommends “all US citizens remaining in Ukraine to leave the country immediately .”
“We want to be very clear: any American must leave as soon as possible and in the next 24 or 48 hours,” the senior official stressed during a press conference. “Obviously, we can’t predict the future. We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but the risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough,” he added.
Sullivan noted that the United States has no definitive information that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an invasion, however, noting that all the “pieces” are in place for a major military operation that could begin “quickly.”
” We are not saying that President Putin has made a decision ,” he said. “What we’re saying is that we have a sufficient level of concern based on what we’re seeing on the ground, what our intelligence analysts have picked up, and we’re sending this clear message,” he added.
The National Security Adviser noted that new Russian forces are arriving at the Ukrainian border and added that the “invasion” “could start during the Olympics, despite the fact that there has been much speculation that it would only happen after” the sporting event. Furthermore, he said the conflict would likely start with aerial bombardment and missile strikes, followed by an onslaught by a massive ground force, which could cut off road, rail and air routes .
“If they stay, they are taking a risk, with no guarantee of another opportunity to leave [Ukraine] and no prospect of a US military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion,” he said, addressing US citizens.
Ukraine: Do not travel to Ukraine due to increased threats of Russian military action & COVID; those in Ukraine should depart now. If remaining, exercise caution due to crime, civil unrest, & potential combat operations should Russia take military action. https://t.co/X5zkrEIyZ4 pic.twitter.com/QoVHtB0bEd
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) February 10, 2022
The increase in tension in the region is “not even remotely” Moscow’s fault
For his part, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reaffirmed this Friday during a meeting with his British counterpart, Ben Wallace, that Moscow is not planning any attack on Ukraine .
US President Joe Biden has ask American citizens in Ukraine to leave the country immediately, citing increased threats of Russian military action.
“American citizens should leave now,” Mr Biden told NBC News.