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US Closes Embassy In Belarus Amid Worries It Will Back Russia’s Unprovoked Invasion

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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The State Department announced Monday that it would close the American embassy in Belarus due to “security and safety issues stemming” from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“The Department of State continually adjusts its posture at embassies and consulates throughout the world in line with its mission, the local security environment, and the health situation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We ultimately have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens, and that includes our U.S. government personnel and their dependents serving around the world.”

The indefinite closure comes as both U.S. and Ukrainian officials warn that Belarus plans to enter the war on Russia’s side in the coming days. The country is led by strongman Alexander Lukashenko, an ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and it has served as a starting point for Russian artillery that has since invaded Ukraine. (RELATED: Ukraine To Its Citizens In Kyiv: Use Molotov Cocktails To ‘Neutralise’ Russian Troops)

The U.S. embassy’s closure also follows Belarus’ moving to revoke its status as a non-nuclear state via constitutional referendum, meaning that Lukashenko could ask Putin to transfer nuclear weapons within it, according to Reuters. (RELATED: ‘Violent Gesture’: Russia Begins Military Drills With Belarus Near Ukrainian Border)

While the embassy called the move “a sham referendum,” it warned that the action would “further erode the country’s sovereignty and independence.”

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