The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has published an appeal to its citizens with a request to leave Russia, as due to the crisis, it is possible to limit the provision of consular assistance.
"Recommendations to the citizens of Ukraine in connection with the latest decisions of the Russian Federation that grossly violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine In connection with the intensification of Russian aggression against Ukraine, which, among other things, may lead to significant restrictions on the provision of consular assistance in the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that Ukrainian citizens refrain from any trips to the Russian Federation and those who are already in this country - leave its territory immediately. We emphasize that ignoring these recommendations will significantly complicate ensuring the proper protection of Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation."
This decision came as a response to the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as independent states on February 21. Kiev considers these territories temporarily occupied though have never negotiated with the representatives of the republics and just recently said there is nobody to negotiate with, so the conflict did not seem to have any other solution than that proposed by Putin. However, this decision was strictly condemned by the West and now Ukraine sees it as a threat to the security of the country.
In addition, Zelensky later reported that he had received a request from the country’s Foreign Ministry about severing diplomatic relations with Russia, and promised to consider it. No decision has been made yet, but the charge d’affaires of Ukraine in Russia, Vasyl Pokotilo, was summoned to Kiev for consultation (since March 2014 there has been no Ukrainian ambassador in Russia, so the diplomatic mission is headed by a charge d’affaires).
The press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov called the possible rupture of diplomatic relations between Russia and Ukraine “an extremely undesirable scenario” that will complicate the situation “not only for the states but also for the peoples of the two countries.” The Russian Foreign Ministry assured that Moscow is not considering severing relations with Kiev. As was also stated by the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Russia is always open to a constructive dialogue and improving relations, not worsening them.