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Taiwan issues 'red' travel alert for crisis-hit Ukraine

TAIPEI -- Taiwan on Tuesday issued its highest travel alert for Ukraine, urging Taiwanese nationals to avoid visiting the Eastern European country amid political turmoil there.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised its travel alert for Ukraine from “orange” to “red,” effective immediately.

Under the Foreign Ministry's four-color travel alert system, red represents the highest level of warning. Orange means travelers should take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel, followed by yellow one step below and then gray.

The red alert for Ukraine was issued as the possibility of military conflict between Ukraine and neighboring Russia grew after Russian troops took over the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine over the weekend, a move Russia described as protecting its interests there.

Ukraine's interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, has criticized Russia's move as aggression against the sovereignty of Ukraine, foreign reports said.

There are four Taiwanese nationals living in Ukraine and they are all safe, according to the Foreign Ministry.

According to the Tourism Bureau, there are no Taiwanese tourists in Ukraine at present and local travel agencies have no plans to organize group tours to that country in the short term.

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