Argentina’s government on Tuesday called on all involved parties to continue diplomatic talks and find a "political solution" to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine.
"The Argentine government reaffirms the need for all parties involved to move forward in diplomatic negotiations that would allow for a political solution to the growing tensions in eastern Ukraine, in order to maintain international peace and security," the Foreign Ministry in Buenos Aires said in a statement.
Argentina expressed its "concern over the development of the situation in Ukraine" after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of the separatist regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, which border Russia, the previous day.
President Alberto Fernández's government said it "appeals to all parties involved to resolve their differences through dialogue, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the non-use of force between states and with full respect for human rights."
Fernández, the Peronist leader who took office in December 2019, visited Putin on an official visit to Moscow in early February, during which he thanked the Russian leader for its support during the coronavirus pandemic. Argentina was one of the first nations to begin using the Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine and is now a producer of the shot domestically.
During his meeting with Putin, Fernández said that Argentina needed to rely less on the United States and signed a number of economic agreements with the Russian leader.
Russia evacuates staff in Ukraine
Russia began evacuating diplomatic staff from Ukraine, its Embassy in Kyiv told AFP, a day after lawmakers in Moscow granted President Vladimir Putin permission to use force abroad.
Asked if the evacuation had begun, Embassy Spokesman Denis Golenko told AFP by phone: "Yes."
Moscow's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it would evacuate diplomats from the country soon, saying this was in order to "protect their lives."
The Russian flag was also lowered over the Embassy's building, according to eyewitnesses.
Golenko said the evacuation was "linked to the fact that Western embassies announced evacuations of some of their staff, and that our Ministry also took this decision."
ome Western embassies, including the United States and Britain, moved their staff to the city of Lviv near the Polish border. They did so fearing a Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying the capital could come under attack.
The Russian Argmed Forces are highly likely to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and attack Kyiv, UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss claimed early on Wednesday.
The UK and US have repeatedly over the last weeks cited intelligence as indicating that Russia is planning an invasion of Ukraine.
"We think it's highly likely that he [Putin] will follow through on his plan for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” Truss told the Sky News television channel.
Asked if the Russian leader would move on the capital Kyiv, she said: "We think it's highly likely that that is in his plans."
While Putin has said he is sending troops, "we don't yet have the full evidence that that has taken place," Truss said, calling the current situation "ambiguous."