French and German nationals invited to leave Ukraine

Military exercises, shelling… Tension continues to rise between Ukraine and Russia. Faced with the risk of war, France called this Saturday on all its nationals to leave Ukraine and on those in the most exposed areas in the east of the country to leave “without delay”. For its part, Germany called on its nationals to leave Ukraine “urgently” and warned “against any movement” in the country.

“It is recommended that all French nationals whose stay in Ukraine has no compelling reason to leave the country”, underlines French diplomacy in its travel advice updated this Saturday. So far, the French Foreign Ministry has only advised to “defer all trips to Ukraine”.

“Resurgence of ceasefire violations”

The French being “in the oblasts [divisions administratives] Kharkiv, Lugansk and Donetsk” as well as in the Dnipro region, near Russia, are “called upon to leave these areas without delay”, insists the Quai d’Orsay.

Due to the “tensions created by the concentration of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine” and “the resurgence of ceasefire violations” in pro-Russian separatist areas, it is also recommended “not to go to border areas in the north and east of the country,” it added.

Air traffic disrupted

The German company Lufthansa has also announced that it is suspending its regular flights to Kiev and Odessa (south) from Monday until the end of February. “The safety of our passengers and crew members is our top priority,” said a spokesperson, adding that flights remained scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, to allow people who wish to leave the country, and that the company would continue to serve Lviv in western Ukraine.

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Air France is maintaining its flights to Ukraine for the time being, according to a spokesperson. “The next flight to Kyiv is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) at 09:40. We are monitoring the situation closely, of course, but for the moment the flight is maintained, ”he said. Another direct flight is scheduled for Tuesday.

A call between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin

The Ukrainian government said on Saturday that it was “preparing for all possible scenarios”, while the United States said it was convinced that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine imminently.

French President Emmanuel Macron is due to speak on the phone on Sunday at 11 a.m. Paris time with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to try “again to avoid the worst”, said the Elysée. He is also due to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday.

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