“There are 50 Croatians in Kyiv, 25 in the west and 25 in the east. There are also 14 Croatians in the OSCE Mission, so the number (of Croatians currently staying in Ukraine) we are certain of is 114,” Grlić Radman told reporters in Split.
Stressing that his information was not certain, Grlić Radman said that he believed “nobody has yet left Ukraine in larger numbers.”
Croatian nationals have been advised to contact the embassy and temporarily leave Ukraine.
As for the embassy, the minister said that there was still no reason to close it down.
“The situation is unpredictable, but in any case major efforts are being invested in dialogue as de-escalation, peace and finding a solution that would not compromise stability and security are in everyone’s interest,” the minister said, adding that conflict “would not benefit anyone.”
Western countries have been withdrawing their ambassadors from Ukraine and advising their nationals to leave the country due to what they describe as a great likelihood of a Russian invasion.
At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday spoke out against spreading panic, saying that it only helped the enemy.
“If you or anyone has any additional information about a 100-percent chance of an invasion, give it to us,” he added.
Concerns have been growing for months that Russia, which has amassed troops along the Ukrainian border, is thinking of invading Ukraine. Russian-backed rebel forces already control eastern parts of Ukraine, and Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Russia denies any such plans. It, however, has used the attention focused on the region to express its fears that NATO has come too close to its territory, demanding that the Western alliance withdraw from what Russia regards its own sphere of influence.
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