The United States is calling on all Americans in Ukraine to leave in the next 24 to 48 hours, US National Security Adviser (NSA) Jake Sullivan on Friday (local time). “We want to be crystal clear on this point. Any American in Ukraine should leave as soon as possible and in any event, in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Sullivan said, according to CNN. He said that if Americans stay they “are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave and no prospect of a US Military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion.”
The National Security Adviser was speaking during a White House press briefing amid the ongoing situation in Ukraine. He also said that there is a credible prospect that Russian Military action in Ukraine would take place even before the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics. “We continue to see signs of Russian escalation including now forces arriving at the border. As we’ve said before, we’re in the window when an invasion could begin at any time should Vladimir Putin decide to order it. I will not comment on the details of our intelligence information but I do want to be clear, it could begin during the Olympics, despite a lot of speculation that it will only happen after the Olympics,” Sullivan said during a White House press briefing.
He noted that the US forces’ deployments in Germany, Poland, Armenia are not soldiers being sent to go fight Russia in Ukraine. “They are not going to war in Ukraine or fighting a war with Russia. They are going to defend NATO territory against aggression; defensive and non-escalatory deployments,” he added.
Meanwhile, CNN reported quoting Secretary of State Antony Blinken that a Russian invasion of Ukraine “could begin at any time,” including during the Beijing Winter Olympics, and the United States continues “to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.”
The top US diplomat made the comments alongside his counterparts from the Quad — Australia, India and Japan — following a day of meetings in Melbourne and after the State Department and Biden warned US citizens to depart Ukraine immediately.