France reopens embassy in Kyiv
Mission relocated March 2 to Lviv after outbreak of war with Russia
France reopened its embassy in Ukraine’s capital after the French diplomatic mission was forced to move to Lviv following the outbreak of war with Russia.
“It’s a very emotional moment,” Paris envoy to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins told BFMTV after hoisting the French flag on the embassy’s premises.
He said the mission’s presence in Kyiv signifies that Ukrainians have defended the capital and did not allow it to be conquered by Russian forces.
The embassy and staff had moved to Lviv in western Ukraine on March 2 after Russian armed forces started bombing around the capital.
De Poncins, however, added that the move was still temporary as the war is still ongoing and complete normalcy has yet to be restored.
“The Russians have the ability to strike anywhere in Ukraine … even in Lviv there were bombings,” he said. “We were in Lviv, there were bombardments. We are doing daily security assessments … if the situation deteriorates, we would certainly take decisions.”
The embassy will be operated by 10 personnel, for now, and manned by a security team.
De Poncins said it is “more effective” to be physically present in the capital and implement diplomacy.
The Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that it would relocate the embassy to Kyiv “very soon.”
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