US Embassy In Kyiv Reopens Three Months After Pausing Operations

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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The U.S. reopened its embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine on Wednesday, according to the State Department.

The embassy first closed in February amid fears of an impending Russian invasion. Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted at the time that the decision was made to ensure “the safety of our staff,” highlighting the buildup of Russian forces.

“We underscored our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, pledged to continue our assistance, and started working toward the day we could return to Kyiv,” Blinken said in a Wednesday afternoon statement announcing the reopening. “Now, that day has come. Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.”

“The Ukrainian people, with our security assistance, have defended their homeland in the face of Russia’s unconscionable invasion, and, as a result, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the Embassy once again. We stand proudly with, and continue to support, the government and people of Ukraine as they defend their country from the Kremlin’s brutal war of aggression,” Blinken added.

Many other countries reopened their embassies before the U.S., prompting questions on why the administration hadn’t yet resumed operations in Kyiv. (RELATED: Sullivan Quashes Comparisons Of Afghanistan And Ukraine, Rejects ‘Miscalculation’ Claims)

Blinken noted that there would be “additional measures to increase the safety of our colleagues who are returning to Kyiv” in his statement. He also mentioned “enhanced … security measures and protocols,” though his statement did not offer up specifics.

“We are committed to confronting the challenges ahead.  The war rages on.  Russia’s forces inflict death and destruction on Ukrainian soil every day,” Blinken added, quietly recognizing the fact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. “Millions of Ukrainians are displaced from their homes and mourn the loss of their loved ones. With strength of purpose, we reaffirm our commitment to the people and government of Ukraine, and we look forward to carrying out our mission from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.”