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GOP senators demand Blinken reopen American embassy in Ukraine

Two Republican senators have urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to reopen the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to “symbolically affirm” Washington’s commitment to Ukraine.

In a letter obtained by Fox News Wednesday, Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Steve Daines of Montana reasoned that Russia has withdrawn its troops from the area after failing to take the capital city. 

“With Ukraine’s successful defense of Kyiv and Russia’s subsequent withdrawal of forces from the areas surrounding the capital, we encourage you to fully open the United States embassy without delay,” the senators wrote. “America’s restored diplomatic presence in Kyiv will enhance cooperation with a democratic partner as it wages an existential defense and symbolically affirm our nation’s commitment to Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks after viewing the "Burma's Path To Genocide" exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Monday, March 21, 2022. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks after viewing the "Burma’s Path To Genocide" exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, Monday, March 21, 2022. 
((Kevin Lamarque, Pool via AP) )

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At least 17 nations have reopened their embassies in Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew from areas to the north and east of the capital late last month, according to a report by Foreign Policy. 

Spain announced this week that it will join nations like Austria, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal and the European Union in re-establishing its diplomatic missions in Ukraine. 

Moran and Daines noted that the threat Russia continues to pose in Ukraine is significant but argued the U.S. had maintained working embassies in war-torn nations before. 

Firefighters douse the fire in the Retroville shopping mall after a Russian attack on the northwest of the capital Kyiv on March 21, 2022. - At least six people were killed in the overnight bombing of a shopping centre in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Firefighters douse the fire in the Retroville shopping mall after a Russian attack on the northwest of the capital Kyiv on March 21, 2022. – At least six people were killed in the overnight bombing of a shopping centre in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
(Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Moran told Fox News Digital that as a member of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, he takes “seriously” the safety of embassy staff.  But the senator noted he had the opportunity to meet with embassy staff on a recent trip to the Ukrainian-Polish border, and said he “was very impressed by their dedication and patriotism.”

“As we see France, Italy and other allies move to reopen their embassies in Kyiv, our nation and the Ukrainian people will be well-served with our own diplomatic return to the embassy in Ukraine’s capital,” he added.

 The senators called on Blinken to provide a plan on staffing details and how the U.S. will “restore” pre-war level embassy operations. 

“Our continued absence in Kyiv, no matter how prudent up to now, signals a lack of confidence in Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and the diplomatic missions under its protection,” the duo wrote the letter sent to Blinken Tuesday evening. “Resuming normal embassy operations at once will reinforce the importance of diplomacy and America’s full support for a Ukraine whole and free.”

The State Department did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s questions on reopening the embassy in Kyiv.  

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