US President Joe Biden's administration is not engaged in active preparations to re-open the US embassy in Kyiv, following the UK’s announcement that it will resume its diplomatic mission in the capital city soon, according to three sources familiar with the ongoing conversations.
US State Department officials remain concerned about the possibility of a Russian strike that could accidentally hit the structure or US personnel, the sources said. The officials are less wary of specific targeting of the US mission, but so long as the errant missile threat remains, they are not going to move back into Kyiv.
But the department is actively assessing the situation on the ground.
“We are constantly reassessing and evaluating the security situation because the safety and security of our employees is our top priority,” a State Department spokesperson said Friday.
For many State Department officials, the memories of Benghazi – when a US ambassador was killed in an attack on the US diplomatic compound – are a constant reminder of the need to be overly cautious, two of the sources said.
The State Department ended operations at the US embassy in Kyiv over a month ago. The spokesperson said they looked forward to re-opening the embassy when able.
“We don’t have specifics on timing, but our team is actively planning and we very much look forward to resuming embassy operations in Ukraine to facilitate our support to the government and people of Ukraine as they bravely defend their country,” the spokesperson said.