Updated Feb 20, 2022 - World

U.S. embassy in Moscow urges Americans to avoid crowds, cites "threats of attacks" in major urban areas

A person walking alongside the us embassy.
Photo: Vladimir Gerdo\TASS via Getty Images

The U.S. embassy in Moscow on Sunday issued a security warning regarding possible threats to Americans in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Driving the news: "According to media sources, there have been threats of attacks against shopping centers, railway and metro stations, and other public gathering places in major urban areas, including Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in areas of heightened tension along the Russian border with Ukraine," according to the alert.

  • The embassy notice encouraged Americans to "avoid crowds," "review your personal security plans," "carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Russian visa" and "have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance," among other suggestions.

State of play: Following a tense weekend of back-and-forth and conflicting-narratives about whether Vladimir Putin has decided to invade Ukraine, President Biden convened a meeting of the National Security Council on Sunday and will speak with French President Emmanuel Macron later in the day.

  • Macron and Putin spoke by phone earlier on Sunday, agreeing on “the need to prioritize a diplomatic solution to the current crisis,” according to a statement from Élysée Palace.
  • Macron also spoke on Sunday with and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Editor's note: This story is developing and has been updated with additional information.

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