In a statement on Sunday, Global Affairs Canada said it was temporarily withdrawing non-essential Canadian employees and remaining dependants from the embassy in Kyiv.
On Monday, Canada had ordered the families of diplomats stationed at the embassy in Ukraine to leave the country due to the “ongoing Russian military build-up and destabilizing activities” in the region.
“As we continue to closely monitor the situation, our highest priority remains the safety and security of Canadians,” GAC said in a statement Sunday.
“As announced earlier this week, Canada will be reinforcing the team at the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, with officials with expertise in areas such as security sector reform, conflict management, democratic reform, consular services and diplomacy,” GAC said.
“Together, they will increase our diplomatic capacity and allow us to continue to assess and respond to the evolving situation in support of Ukraine.”
With more than 100,000 Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian border, U.S. and NATO allies have spent weeks warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to once again invade the former Soviet state.
Putin has denied any intention of invading Ukraine, claiming the increased military presence is in response to provocations from the West.
Canada and other NATO allies have urged Russia to help craft a diplomatic solution to the current tensions, but a number of Russia’s demands — including forbidding Ukraine from joining NATO — are seen as non-starters.
Amid the tensions, the United States and United Kingdom have also pulled the families of their diplomats in Ukraine and authorized the departure of some of its embassy staff out of the country, citing concerns about the potential for a Russian invasion.
European Union member states, in contrast, have kept the dependants of their diplomats in place.
— with files from Global News’ Alex Boutilier