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Canada withdraws more staff from embassy in Ukraine amid Russia standoff

Canada withdraws more staff from embassy in Ukraine amid Russia standoff

Ottawa: Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry on Sunday announced that the country has decided to withdraw more staff from its embassy in Ukraine, amid an international standoff over Russian troops massed on the country's borders.

"As announced earlier this week, Canada will be reinforcing the team at the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, with officials with expertise in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, consular services and diplomacy," said the statement.

The ministry in its statement stated that its highest priority remains the safety and security of Canadians and the officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens, as required.

"Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine."

Meanwhile, Canada's Defence Minister Anita Anand arrived in Ukraine earlier on Sunday and said at a press conference that Canada would continue to take all precautions necessary to keep Canadian Armed Forces safe and secure.

On January 25, Canada pulled out Canadian embassy staff's children under 18 years of age and family members accompanying them. Currently the Embassy of Canada to Ukraine remains open, providing consular assistance to Canadian citizens.

Previously Canada updated its travel advisory suggesting that any non-essential Canadians should leave Ukraine. The decision came amid heightened concerns of a potential Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

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