As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to escalate, the U.S. State Department authorized the destruction of some immigration and travel documents as part of a protocol to protect sensitive information, according to notes from a phone call between the Biden administration and Congress.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that the U.S. would shutter its embassy in Kyiv as officials warned of Russian invasion at any time.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a media briefing that he could not offer details on the destruction of documents at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, but assured no valid passports were destroyed.
“There are a standard set of procedures that we set into motion when we do begin an embassy drawdown,” Price said. “We have undertaken prudent precautions when it comes to sensitive documents, sensitive equipment, but just can’t offer a whole lot of detail there.”
Price added that Diplomats from Kyiv are being relocated to the U.S. mission in Lviv, a city close to the border with Poland.
Earlier, the Biden administration has issued urgent instructions since last week for Americans to depart Ukraine amid the threat of an outbreak of conflict, warning it would not carry out a mass evacuation.
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