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“A difficult question”: US State Department answers whether it will help Ukraine return men from abroad

The US State Department has called the suspension of consular services abroad for Ukrainian men of mobilization age a “complicated issue”, but acknowledges that Ukraine has the right to determine its policy.
Ukrainian servicemen of the Azov brigade are seen at an artillery position in the direction of Lyman as Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen are seen at an artillery position in the direction of Lyman as the Russo-Ukrainian War continues. Illustrative image. Photo via Eastnews.ua.
“A difficult question”: US State Department answers whether it will help Ukraine return men from abroad

The US State Department has called the suspension of consular services abroad for Ukrainian men of mobilization age a “complicated issue.” This was stated by Daniel Sizek, an official representative of the US diplomatic mission in Brussels, in a commentary to Radio Liberty.

“It’s a difficult question, it’s clear what to do, especially with men who are now outside of Ukraine. But the government of Ukraine has the right to determine its policy,” the State Department representative said.

When asked whether the United States would help Ukraine bring the men home, Sizek responded by saying that there is no decision or position yet from the US government on whether or not to help Ukraine in this area.

Sizek also added that the fate of Ukraine’s citizens is primarily its business, and noted that the Ukrainian government should “act carefully on this issue.”

“It’s clear that people are needed for the Armed Forces to defend the country… It’s a complicated issue and hard to say. What is important is that Europe, and to some extent the United States as well, welcomed Ukrainians who decided that they and their families needed to leave Ukraine, and this was another important part of Europe’s support, for example,” the State Department representative said.

At the same time, Sizek noted that the Ukrainian government needs to study the situation intensively and seriously. In addition to the situation with regard to people. The US government respects the right of the Ukrainian government to determine its policy, the representative said.

Restriction of consular services

On April 23, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine restricted the provision of consular services to men aged 18-60 abroad, including the processing of applications for passports and their issuance. As explained by the Ministry, this is due to the adoption by the Ukrainian parliament of a law on mobilization, which will come into force on May 18, 2024.

The Foreign Ministry called the decision a temporary step “due to the need to resolve issues related to the military registration of citizens of mobilization age who are abroad.” They promise to resume the provision of services after the law comes into force, but subject to its requirements.

Confirming the Foreign Ministry’s decision, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukrainians’ stay abroad “does not exempt them from their duties to their homeland.”

Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysh said on April 24 that Poland is ready to help Ukraine return men of mobilization age and assist the neighboring country.

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