France on Wednesday became the latest Western country to call on its citizens to leave Ukraine “without delay”, amid growing fears that Russia is preparing a large-scale attack.
“In the context of serious tensions caused by the concentration of Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders” as well as Russia’s recognition of two breakaway regions and Ukraine’s imposition of a state of emergency, “French citizens in Ukraine must leave the country without delay,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.
Tens of thousands of Russian troops are stationed near Ukraine’s borders, with the West saying they could be used for an attack at any moment.
Rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine have asked Moscow for military aid against Kiev, which opens the door to the massive arrival of Russian troops.
Washington and Britain say Russian force is poised to strike Ukraine and ignite Europe’s most serious war in decades, but Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is open to negotiation – in some limits.
Western capitals say Russia has amassed 150,000 troops in battle formations on Ukraine’s borders with Russia, Belarus and Russian-occupied Crimea and on warships in the Black Sea.
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