Due to the unpredictable security situation in Ukraine, all Austrians are called upon to leave the country immediately, with the exception of the western regions. A travel warning applies. AUA flights to Kiev and Odessa will be suspended until the end of February.
In the escalating conflict over Ukraine, the Austrian Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for the country on Saturday. According to the ministry, the incidents in eastern Ukraine have increased massively in the past 24 hours. “It must be expected that the situation will deteriorate considerably.” Previously, only “not essential trips to Ukraine” had been advised against.
Travel warning for Ukraine due to security situation
Specifically, there is a travel warning for all Austrian citizens for Ukraine due to the unpredictable security situation. Austrians living abroad and travelers are also strongly advised to avoid the area. Exceptions exist for the western regions of Lemberg, Transcarpathia, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi.
Austrians should leave Ukraine immediately
All Austrians are called upon to leave Ukraine immediately, with the exception of the western areas. The Austrian ambassador’s staff, on the other hand, has been strengthened and will continue to be on the spot to assist compatriots with their departure if necessary. In addition, the staff should keep in touch with the Ukrainian partners, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The Embassy in Kiev and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should continue to stay in contact with all Austrians registered via the Foreign Ministry’s foreign service app. Around 180 Austrian citizens are currently registered in Ukraine.
AUA stops flights to Kiev and Odessa
Austrian Airlines (AUA) will suspend its regular flights to Kiev and Odessa from Monday until the end of February. The company announced this on Saturday at the request of the APA. Individual special flights will therefore still be carried out tomorrow, Sunday, in order to offer passengers the option of traveling from Kiev and Odessa. Flights to Lviv (Lemberg) continue to operate, currently AUA flies there three times a week.
A company spokeswoman explained that the safety of passengers and employees has top priority at all times. AUA continues to follow the situation closely and is in close contact with national and international authorities.
According to dpa, the AUA mother Lufthansa will also be suspending flights to and from Kiev and the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa from next Monday. “Due to the current situation in Ukraine, the airlines in the Lufthansa Group will initially suspend their regular flights to Kiev (KBP) and Odessa (ODS) until the end of February,” the company said on Saturday.
Tensions at the border have increased further
The German Foreign Office also tightened its travel and safety instructions for Ukraine again on Saturday, as Reuters reported. “German nationals are urgently requested to leave the country now,” the ministry’s website said. “The tensions between Russia and Ukraine have increased due to the massive presence and movements of Russian military units near the Ukrainian borders. A military conflict is possible at any time.”
“We have to do everything we can to ensure that these people can return soon. Because it’s also about business people,” commented the Ukrainian ambassador in Vienna, Wassyl Chymynez, on the Austrian travel warning. But you can only achieve that if you stick together and if Putin also recognizes that further escalation would be very expensive, Chymynez told APA.