World Bank relocating staff from Ukraine
The World Bank is temporarily relocating its staff from Ukraine due to rising tensions along the Russia-Ukraine border, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters.
“The World Bank Group’s foremost priority is to keep our staff and their families safe. In line with our evacuation policy, temporary relocation of staff is under way and enhanced security measures are in place,” the memo said, according to Reuters.
There is no information on where the staff would be moved or how many people were being relocated, but the World Bank said it was closely monitoring the situation, Reuters reported.
The World Bank did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.
The World Bank has provided nearly $1.3 billion in financing to Ukraine since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, Reuters reported.
The decision by the World Bank to move its staff from Ukraine follows a similar decision by the U.S. to evacuate embassy staff in Kyiv.
“On February 12, 2022, the Department of State ordered the departure of most U.S. direct hire employees from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action,” the travel advisory read.
The embassy in Kyiv on Sunday halted all consular services and will “maintain a small consular presence in Lviv, Ukraine to handle emergencies, but will not be able to provide passport, visa or routine consular services,” according to the State Department.
The Russian military has amassed hundreds of thousands of troops at its border with Ukraine, a posture that has not shifted much in weeks despite efforts by the U.S., Canada, U.K. and other Western allies to de-escalate the situation diplomatically.
U.S. officials have also warned that while the diplomatic path to easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine remains open, the window of opportunity for negotiations and dialogue is “shrinking” as Moscow continues its military buildup.