White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday repeated warnings issued earlier by President Joe Biden that Americans in Ukraine should leave the country.
Watch PSAki’s remarks in the player above.
PSAKI said the State Department assessed in October that about 6,600 Americans were in the country at that time.
US officials say with more than 100,000 Russian troops approaching Ukraine’s eastern and northern borders, the threat of a Russian invasion is more serious than others that have come and gone in years of fighting between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces.
President Joe Biden had said “it would be wise” for Americans other than essential diplomats to leave Ukraine and ordered the deployment of 1,700 troops to neighboring Poland.
PSAKI said the situation facing Americans inside Ukraine was not similar to the mass evacuation after the fall of Kabul in Afghanistan.
Psaki was also asked about reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a rape joke about Ukraine.
“Any rape joke would definitely be something that would outrage everyone in this government,” she said. “I would also like to note that we have never hesitated to be concerned about the lack of veracity of some of the statements that have come out of the mouths of President Putin and members of the Russian leadership, as well as the bellicose rhetoric that has come out of their stuffy. “
After Iran on Wednesday unveiled a new missile with a reported range that would allow it to hit both US bases in the region as well as targets inside archenemy Israel, Psaki said the talks on Iranian nuclear power were at a “pivotal moment”.
Iranian state television reported that the missile uses solid fuel and has a range of 1,450 kilometers (900 miles). It’s called the Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors in early Islam.
The report comes as talks continue in Vienna to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, which has long said it does not seek nuclear weapons, insists its missile program is only a deterrent.