US tells its citizens to leave Belarus immediately due to Russia’s military buildup

The US issued a travel advisory on Tuesday urging its citizens to avoid any travel to Belarus due to the “concerning Russian military buildup” on the country’s border with Ukraine.

“The Department of State reissued the Travel Advisory for Belarus to include information regarding increased threats of Russian military action. This replaces the previous Travel Advisory issued on January 10, 2022,” a statement from the State Department read.

Tensions have been escalating in recent weeks as the US and Europe have warned of a possible Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow denies these claims and says the 100,000 troops it has stationed along the border are part of military exercises.

Washington and Moscow’s ambassadors to the UN sparred during a Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Monday. Russia failed in its attempts, supported by China, to make Monday’s meeting behind closed doors.

Belarus and its strongman Alexander Lukashenko have also been accused of helping Russia station its troops and weapons inside Belarus.

The travel advisory comes after the State Department ordered the departure of family members of US government employees from Belarus on Monday.

“Due to an increase in unusual and concerning Russian military activity near the border with Ukraine, US citizens located in or considering travel to Belarus should be aware that the situation is unpredictable and there is heightened tension in the region,” the State Department said.

The State Department added: “The US government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to US citizens in Belarus is already severely limited due to Belarusian government limitations on US Embassy staffing.”

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