The American embassy resumed its operations after being closed for three months
The US Embassy in Kiev officially resumed its operations on Wednesday after a three-month closure prompted by the ongoing Russian military offensive in Ukraine.
In a statement entitled "Raising the Flag at US Embassy Kyiv," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the reopening of the diplomatic mission as a "momentous step." The American flag was raised over the embassy building during a short ceremony.
"We stand proudly with, and continue to support, the government and people of Ukraine as they defend their country from the Kremlin's brutal war of aggression," Blinken said.
The secretary of state explained that suspending operations was necessary for the safety of the embassy's personnel, but now that operations are resuming additional measures to protect staff have been taken.
"With strength of purpose, we reaffirm our commitment to the people and government of Ukraine, and we look forward to carrying out our mission from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv," Blinken said.
As diplomatic mission spokesperson Daniel Langenkamp told Reuters, consular operations remain suspended for now and a 'no-travel' advisory from the State Department remains in place across Ukraine.
The embassy shut its doors on February 14. At that time, Washington had long warned about Russia's impending military campaign, while Moscow kept denying that it had such an intention.
Over the last few weeks, several countries have reopened their embassies in the Ukrainian capital, including Canada, Denmark, the UK, Italy, France and Armenia.
On May 17, Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky posted a photo of himself raising his country's flag.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine's failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.