Ministry matters

Foreign Ministry issues new appeal to Israelis in Ukraine to leave immediately

The Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a fresh appeal to Israelis in Ukraine to leave the country immediately, amid growing Western warnings of an impending Russian invasion.

The ministry made the call after conducting an assessment of the situation and following talks Director General Alon Ushpiz held with unspecified figures at the Munich Security Conference.

A Foreign Ministry statement also cited “events in eastern Ukraine”, apparently referring to escalating clashes between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

” An eruption [of war] will be swift and severe,” the statement read.

The ministry said it decided to keep Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky in Kyiv to help Israelis seeking to leave. He and embassy staff will open the consular section on Sunday “to provide travel documents to citizens who need them,” the statement said.

The Foreign Ministry also said it was monitoring decisions by the United States and Britain to move their embassies from Kiev to the city of Lviv, “in order to protect the lives of state envoys.” of Israel in Ukraine while providing a response to Israeli Citizens.

The Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Ukraine last weekend and urged Israelis in the country to leave immediately, a call repeated throughout the week by Israeli officials. These calls received a mixed response.

In an interview with The Times of Israel on Tuesday at his Kiev office, Brodsky said Israelis should leave Ukraine immediately and not rely on rescue flights to extract them if war breaks out.

Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Michael Brodsky. (Embassy of Israel in Ukraine)

The Foreign Ministry’s latest appeal came as Germany and France urged their citizens to leave Ukraine, as deadly clashes broke out between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists and Moscow testing missiles at nuclear capability in a defiant show of force.

German airline Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines said they would halt flights to Kyiv and Odessa from Monday until the end of February, but would maintain flights to western Ukraine.

AFP contributed to this report.

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