VILNIUS - Due to the existing tense situation in Ukraine, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is moving diplomats' families and some non-essential diplomatic workers out of Ukraine.
"The foreign minister has told the ambassador to organize temporary movement of diplomats' family members and non-essential workers. Only diplomats are subject to the minister's order. The minister has no legal ways to "order" family members to make one or the other decision since family members are not statuary officers," Vytaute Smaizyte-Kuliesiene, spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, told BNS on Monday.
In her words, the Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine continues to perform its main functions. It’s not an evacuation as that would need certain legal mechanisms, Smaizyte-Kuliesiene said, adding that diplomats' families and non-essential workers are leaving on regular commercial flights.
"Nobody has been "evacuated" as everything is taking place the usual way, on regular flights," she said.
On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry issued new recommendations and urged Lithuanian citizens not to visit Ukraine and those in Ukraine to leave immediately.
Lithuanian citizens in Ukraine are requested to register immediately at https://keliauk.urm.lt/keliones-registracijos-forma so that they can be contacted for consular assistance if necessary.
The registration is ongoing actively and around 300 people had registered by Monday morning, Smaizyte-Kuliesiene said.
Russia now has over 100,000 of its troops near Ukraine's borders, stoking fears of an imminent invasion, which Moscow denies.