Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, expressing “extreme concern” over the Joe Biden administration’s plan to rescue Americans stranded in Ukraine.
Budd wrote to Blinken as Russia amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukraine-Russia border and it remains possible there could be a conflict between the two countries.
The North Carolina congressman noted the Biden administration has sent “mixed signals” about its plan to evacuate Americans.
On January 23, 2022, the State Department issued a “do not travel” warning to Americans and urged those Americans in Ukraine to depart immediately. Also on January 23, the State Department ordered the U.S. Embassy staff to evacuate the country.
That same day, however, the State Department reportedly told the press that, “Given that the President has said military action by Russia could come at any time. The U.S. government will not be in a position to evacuate U.S. citizens. So U.S. citizens, currently present in Ukraine should plan accordingly.”
He said it is also “troubling” that the State Department and the White House do not have a “solid number” on the number of Americans in Ukraine.
“When President Biden’s remarks about accepting a “minor incursion” from Russia are taken into account, the American people are rightly concerned about the fate of citizens caught in the middle of this volatile situation,” Budd wrote.
Ukraine on Monday dismissed the Biden State Department's withdrawal of the families of U.S. embassy staff in Kyiv as "premature." https://t.co/6nyqLuyAi7
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 25, 2022
Budd noted the Biden administration stranded an unknown number of Americans during its botched Afghanistan withdrawal last year and said he has “extreme concern” for the Americans that remain in harm’s way in Ukraine.
He asked Blinken to respond to these questions:
- Given Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s broad estimate that “a range of 10 to 15,000” 6 Americans are in Ukraine right now, does the Biden administration know the exact number of Americans who may be in need of evacuation from Ukraine?
- If Russia invades Ukraine, does the Biden administration have a plan to evacuate every American in Ukraine who wants to leave?
- What steps is the Biden administration willing to take to keep U.S. citizens in Ukraine safe if Russia does invade?
“When American citizens are abroad, they deserve the full protection of the United States government. Yet, the Biden administration’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving Americans behind, was nothing short of disgraceful,” Budd continued. “I am concerned a similar situation could repeat itself in Ukraine.”
Budd concluded, “A policy of “you’re on your own” is not an acceptable policy for the United States of America.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.