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US diplomats will resume limited activities in Ukraine, based in Lviv, in the west of the country, with the aim of returning to kyiv within a month, Kristina Kvien, US charge d’affaires for Ukraine, announced on Monday.

Kvien said she and US Embassy staff will continue to take day trips from neighboring Poland to Lviv for the next week or two and, depending on security conditions, plan to extend those trips. in Kyiv, the capital. The goal, she said, is to eventually restore a “permanent long-term presence” in Kyiv, where several foreign diplomatic missions have already reopened.

“When they tell us we can go back, we go back,” Kvien said of the security updates, speaking outside the sandbag walls of Lviv City Hall.

Lviv will serve as a base for U.S. personnel to meet with Ukrainian officials, civil society groups and humanitarian agencies, as well as perform basic consular work to assist U.S. citizens. For now, that work should not include visa processing related to the Biden administration’s commitment to admit up to 100,000 people fleeing Ukraine.

In mid-February, just before the Russian invasion, the State Department temporarily moved its operations to Lviv, with American personnel shuttling in from Poland. Although Lviv was subject to sporadic attacks, its relative calm made it a hub for United Nations personnel, aid groups and Western diplomats who deemed the capital too risky.

At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the move a “big mistake”, saying it sent the wrong message to Russia about Western support for kyiv.

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