Pentagon officials are considering plans to deploy members of the U.S. Special Forces to guard the nation’s reopened embassy in Kyiv as Russia continues its military invasion of Ukraine.
The report comes as the White House remains concerned over American diplomats in Ukraine, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
“We are in close touch with our colleagues at the State Department about potential security requirements now that they have resumed operations at the embassy in Kyiv,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.
“But no decisions have been made, and no specific proposals have been debated at senior levels of the department about the return of U.S. military members to Ukraine for that or any other purpose,” he added.
The U.S. embassy in Kyiv is currently protected by Diplomatic Security Services, according to the State Department.
While the safety of the nation’s diplomats is important, some are concerned that sending Special Forces personnel to Kyiv could escalate America’s involvement in a direct conflict with Russia.
The Biden administration has clearly stated it does not intend to send American military forces into Ukraine. Instead, the U.S. is assisting by sending humanitarian and military support. In the past week, Congress approved an additional $40 billion in support for Ukraine.
The U.S. has also sent thousands of military troops into Poland and eastern Europe to assist with Ukrainian refugees.
The State Department previously announced on Wednesday that it had raised the American flag at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv after moving operations three months earlier.
“Today we are officially resuming operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The Ukrainian people, with our security assistance, have defended their homeland in the face of Russia’s unconscionable invasion, and, as a result, the Stars and Stripes are flying over the Embassy once again,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We stand proudly with, and continue to support, the government and people of Ukraine as they defend their country from the Kremlin’s brutal war of aggression,” he added.
Two Republican senators called on Blinken to reopen the embassy last month as a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Montana Sen. Steve Daines shared the request in a letter in April. They reasoned that Ukraine appears to have staved off Russia’s attempt to seize the capital.
“With Ukraine’s successful defense of Kyiv and Russia’s subsequent withdrawal of forces from the areas surrounding the capital, we encourage you to fully open the United States embassy without delay,” the senators wrote.
On April 9, European Union High Representative Josep Borrell met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv to announce plans to restart its operations in Ukraine’s capital.
“With this visit, the European Union is returning back to Kyiv. I mean this literally: our Head of our Delegation is back here, so that we can work even more directly and more closely with the Ukrainian authorities,” Borrell said in a statement.
Several nations have now restored embassy efforts in Kyiv, including Italy and the United Kingdom.