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Belgium closes its embassy in Kyiv, staff leave Ukraine
Belgium has closed its embassy in Kyiv “due to the evolution of the security situation in the country,” according to the Belgian ministry of foreign affairs.
Embassy staff have already left Ukraine, Bruzz reports, and have been transferred to the French embassy.
“Consular assistance to Belgians still in Ukraine will continue to be provided by the consular teams present at various border points with Ukraine and by the Crisis Centre of FPS Foreign Affairs,” the ministry said.
That assistance will be provided through consular teams located in Medyka (Poland), Košice (Slovakia), Suceava (Romania) and in Chisinau (Moldova). The foreign affairs call centre can also be contacted (+32 2 501.40.00).
The remaining responsibilities of the Belgian Embassy in Kyiv are being taken over by the Belgian Embassy in Poland.
Foreign affairs is aware of at least 276 Belgians and their close relatives residing in Ukraine. Belgium is also responsible for 18 Luxembourgers in the country.
All travel deemed risky
Belgium’s ministry of foreign affairs warns that for anyone currently in Ukraine, all travel, especially in Kyiv, is considered risky.
“If you choose to leave the country because you feel it is safe to do so, prepare for a long journey: remember to bring enough water, food, fuel, blankets and warm clothes. No movement is possible during a curfew,” the ministry warns.
“If you are in a safe place with sufficient food and choose to stay there, stay inside and away from windows as much as possible. If you choose to stay in Ukraine but are no longer in the place where you are now, it is advisable to find another safe place in your immediate vicinity.”
They added that conscripted men (those between 18-60 years old) with dual Ukrainian-Belgian citizenship may not be permitted by the Ukrainian authorities to leave the country.
“The situation in Ukraine remains unpredictable,” they said. “In the event of a sudden deterioration of the situation, communication facilities in Ukraine, such as internet and telephone traffic, may be severely disrupted. Currently, all airports and airspace in Ukraine are closed. All travel to the whole of Ukraine is strongly discouraged.”