"Authorized departure gives these employees the option to depart if they wish; their departure is not required. Ordered departure for family members requires that family members leave the country," the statement reads.
The decision was made amid threats to Ukraine from Russia.
"The Department of State made the decision to authorize departure from Mission Ukraine out of an abundance of caution due to continued Russian efforts to destabilize the country and undermine the security of Ukrainian citizens and others visiting or residing in Ukraine," the statement reads.
Context. On January 23, the United States updated recommendations for Americans to visit Ukraine. The citizens were advised not to travel there due to "increasing threats of significant Russian military action against Ukraine."
Recall: Western countries, including the United States, over the past few months have expressed concern about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine. The White House believes that this could happen at any point. The Department of State does not exclude that the attack may happen during the Russian-Belarusian military exercises.
Last week, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated: If Russia wants to increase the escalation, then it will attempt to do this on those territories where historically there are people who used to have family links to Russia, that is, to take over Kharkiv.