US diplomatic mission returns to Kyiv

US Charge d’Affaires Kristina Kvien and colleagues returned to Kyiv for the first time in almost three months to prepare for the reopening of the embassy in Ukraine.

“Just arrived in Kyiv! Nice to be back in Europe on Victory Day,” the US Embassy in Ukraine posted on its official Twitter account on May 8, along with a photo of Chargé d’Affaires Kristina Kvien standing next to the US flag.

European countries celebrate Victory Day on May 8 to mark the day the Allied armies accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender during World War II.

Kristina Kvien stands next to the US flag in a photo posted to the US Embassy in Ukraine's Twitter account on May 8.  Photo: Twitter/US Embassy in Kyiv

Kristina Kvien stands next to the US flag in a photo posted to the US Embassy in Kyiv’s Twitter account on May 8. Picture: Twitter/US Embassy in Kyiv

This is the first time Chargé d’Affaires Kvien and his colleagues have returned to Kyiv after nearly three months of the US embassy closure in the Ukrainian capital. The trip is part of US efforts to resume its diplomatic presence in Kyiv.

Earlier this week, Kvien said the US hopes to send diplomatic personnel back to the Ukrainian capital “by the end of the month”. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during a visit to Ukraine last month, told President Volodymyr Zelensky that the US would soon reopen its embassy in Kyiv.

Blinken informed his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on May 8 about the visit of the Kvien group to Kyiv. He said they would proceed with a plan to resume operations at the US embassy in Kyiv.

The US closed its embassy in Kyiv on February 14, ten days before Russian President Putin launched a special military operation in Ukraine. US Embassy staffers destroyed equipment at the diplomatic facility before retreating to the western Ukraine city of Lviv.

Western countries are beginning to reestablish their diplomatic presence in Kyiv after Russian forces withdrew from northern Ukraine and focused their military efforts on the eastern part of the country.

US Secretary of State Blinken said the Kvien Group’s return to Kyiv was “a testament to Ukraine’s success, Moscow’s failure, and the United States’ long-term and effective partnership with the government and people of Ukraine.”

Hong Hanh (Corresponding AFP)