By Emmanuel Nduka
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock has urged all Germans citizens in Ukraine to consider leaving the country amidst increasing concerns of an imminent Russian invasion.
Baerbock made her comments in Cairo on Saturday, during a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukry.
The FM stated that the German Embassy in Kyiv will remain open but with a reduced number of staff deployed, adding that the German Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for Ukraine stating that “Germans staying there are asked to leave the country or to consider doing so”.
The call by Germany for its citizens to evacuate followed the US announcement to evacuate its Embassy in the country’s capital.
Mrs Baerbock also noted that human rights criteria will be at the center of her new government’s international arms sales, including to Egypt, a major importer of German weapons.
She added that a bill being introduced this year will also impose restrictions in order to ensure that weapons will not be sold to crisis-hit areas except in exceptional circumstances, and with a justification.
“The human rights situation already plays an important role here. This will also have an impact on countries that have so far been major recipients of German arms exports,” she said.
Under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany exported a record 9.35 billion euros ($10.65 billion) of weapons last year, of which some 4.3 billion euros in sales went to Egypt, mostly for maritime and air defense weapons.