CIA moves out of Kyiv embassy and relocates in Lviv, sources say
The embassy of the European Union in Kyiv was flying the Ukrainian flag on Wednesday, for the first time ever.
Matti Maasikas, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, said he wasn’t sure the act was strictly in line with protocol, but added these were not ordinary times.
Maasikas told CNN the EU was standing firmly behind Ukraine and was still hoping for a peaceful solution.
“The Ukrainian authorities have our unwavering support,” he said. “We are all hopeful that reason will prevail, but we have already seen how one can exhaust the neighboring country by amassing troops at your neighbor’s border, to exhaust the country economically, psychologically, energy-wise. And that is absolutely unacceptable. ”
Maasikas was one of several European diplomats attending a commemorative ceremony at the Memorial Wall, a monument dedicated to those who defended Ukraine during the war that started in 2014.
He said that while the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine remains in the headlines around the world, Ukrainians themselves remain calm.
“There is no panic. The atmosphere is resolute. Ukraine has been at war for almost eight years now,” Maasikas said.
Anka Feldhusen, the German ambassador to Ukraine, agreed. She hasn’t noticed much panic on the streets of Kyiv in recent weeks, even as the US and NATO continued to issue ever more alarming warnings about the risk of a Russian invasion.
She likened the situation to the earlier days of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kyiv. While people in countries like the United States and United Kingdom hoarded toilet paper and flour, Ukrainians stayed calm.
“Of course people are worried, they all read now what’s written everywhere. But I admire the Ukrainians for their calmness, and the way that they know life has to go on… they have suffered through so many things in the last 30 years, I think they’re probably used to, but they’re just very, very calm people, ”she said.
Feldhusen has recently found herself in hot water over a diplomatic spat between her country and Ukraine. Last month, she was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, a diplomatic step that is rarely used between allies.
The Ukrainian government has been critical of Germany for not providing more military help to Kyiv. Berlin announced last month it would supply 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine as tensions grew with Russia – in addition to a field hospital and medical training – but no lethal weapons.
“I think our relations are on a very, very strong basis. They’re always ups and downs, ”she said. “I don’t think it’s a misunderstanding. I think we have to work very hard in Germany to understand what we can do to help and what we can’t. ”
Yulia Kesaieva contributed reporting to this post