Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenReuters

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Friday that Russia could launch an invasion of Ukraine at any time, including during the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Blinken said Washington was continuing to "draw down" its embassy in Ukraine and repeated a State Department call to American citizens in Ukraine to leave the country immediately.

"Simply put, we continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border," Blinken told a news conference in the Australian city of Melbourne, as quoted by Reuters.

"As we've said before, we're in a window when an invasion could begin at any time, and to be clear, that includes during the Olympics," he added.

"We will continue that process and we've also been very clear that any American citizens who remain in Ukraine should leave now," Blinken said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have mounted in recent weeks, after Russia amassed tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden issued a warning to any Americans who remain in Ukraine as Russia continues to threaten an invasion: Leave.

"American citizens should leave now," Biden said in an interview with NBC News, adding, “It’s not like we’re dealing with a terrorist organization. We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly.”

Asked what scenario could prompt him to send troops to rescue Americans fleeing the country, Biden replied, “There’s not. That's a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another.”

The interview came as the State Department issued an advisory stating that the US “will not be able to evacuate US citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine.”

It warned that regular consulate service — including aiding citizens trying to leave the country — would be “severely impacted.”

Meanwhile on Friday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning to Ukraine amid growing tensions with Russia and the fear that it will invade the country in the coming days.

A statement issued by the ministry following an assessment of the situation said that it is recommended that Israelis already staying in Ukraine reconsider their stay and avoid traveling to any dangerous areas.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also ordered the evacuation of the families of Israeli diplomats and envoys living in the country.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)