Germany and France on Saturday urged their citizens to leave the country immediately amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“German nationals are strongly urged to leave the country now,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website, following similar action by a host of other countries.
The ministry warned that tensions between Russia and Ukraine have increased further due to the massive Russian military buildup along the Ukrainian border.
“A military confrontation is possible at any time,” the ministry said.
German airline Lufthansa also announced that it is suspending flights to and from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for one week beginning Monday.
“Lufthansa is constantly monitoring the situation and will decide on further flights at a later date,” the air carrier said on its website.
The French Foreign Ministry also updated its travel warning on Ukraine, advising French nationals to leave the country immediately.
France recommended against going to Ukraine’s northern or eastern border regions due to the tension with Russian forces amassed there, the ministry said.
France also advised nationals to postpone planned and non-essential travel to the country, the statement added.
The decisions came a day after US President Joe Biden accused Moscow of planning “false flag” operations and warned that Russia is on the brink of invading Ukraine within “several days.”
Tensions have risen dramatically in eastern Ukraine over the last couple of days, with a growing number of cease-fire violations, multiple shelling incidents, and evacuation of civilians from the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Western countries have accused Russia of amassing more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that it could be planning a military offensive against its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any plan to invade Ukraine and instead accused Western countries of undermining Russia’s security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders.
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