Canada withdraws non-essential personnel from embassy in Ukraine

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People are silhouetted in front of the Canadian national flag at the Palais des Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

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WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Canada will temporarily withdraw non-essential Canadian employees and remaining dependents from its embassy in Ukraine, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, amid an international standoff over Russian troops massed on the country's borders.

"As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our highest priority remains the safety and security of Canadians. Our officials stand ready to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens, as required," the ministry said in a statement.

The embassy in Kyiv remains open, it said.

Canada said last week it will reinforce the team at the Canadian Embassy with experts in security, conflict management, democratic reform and consular services.

"Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine," it said.

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Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Chizu Nomiyama

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