Italian Foreign Ministry urges Italians to leave Ukraine

The Italians advised to leave Ukraine and avoid traveling there.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio issued a statement on Saturday urging “all Italian citizens present in Ukraine to return home by commercial means and to postpone all travel” to the country.

Di Maio made the announcement following a meeting of the Foreign Ministry’s Crisis Response Unit devoted to the situation in Ukraine, amid warnings from Western powers that an invasion by Russia could be imminent. .

The minister said the advice was “preventive” and added that his ministry had decided to “repatriate all non-essential staff from our embassy in Kyiv, which obviously remains fully operational”.

“We are working to avoid an escalation of the Ukrainian crisis,” Di Maio said, adding that he had in recent days “talks with my European counterparts and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.”

“Italy fully recognizes the territorial integrity of Ukraine and is committed, in close cooperation with its NATO and EU allies, to defining a firm position and – at the same time – to seeking a solution diplomatic response to the crisis by maintaining channels of dialogue with Moscow, in the hope that concrete signs of de-escalation will arrive,” Di Maio concluded.

Russia has amassed around 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border but denies any intention to invade, reports the BBC.

The invitation for Italians to leave Ukraine follows similar calls from the US, UK, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands and Australia issuing warnings to their citizens still in the country.

Dutch airline KLM announced on Saturday that it was suspending all flights in Ukrainian airspace until further notice.

There are around 2,000 Italians currently present in Ukraine, according to Italian public broadcaster RAI.

The latest advice for Italian travellers, published on the Viaggiare Sicuri website on Saturday, states that “in view of the current situation”, Italians are advised to “temporarily leave” Ukraine with the “commercial means available”, adding: ” Traveling in any capacity to Donetsk and Lugansk regions and Crimea is not recommended.”

He also advises to postpone “all non-essential travel” to Ukraine – given the “uncertain situation at the borders” – and to “keep constantly informed on the media and on this website”.

Italians present in the country are requested to register on the website and download the “Unità di Crisi” APP.

The Italian Embassy in Kiev can be reached on the emergency number: +380 50 310 2111.

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