Washington: Speaking on the current situation in coup-hit Niger and the ouster of the President of the West African nation, Mohamed Bazoum, the United States on Tuesday (local time) said that he is a democratically elected leader and all of the work at present is to see him "restored".

During a regular State Department press briefing, spokesperson Matthew Miller said, "I don't want to go into hypotheticals because that is an outcome that we hope is not fulfilled. We hope to see the President restored to the leadership of the country. He's the democratically elected President, and all of our work right now is to see him restored."

He also underlined how the US aid to Niger is also at risk due to the military coup in the country and added by saying, "As Secretary Blinken has made clear, however, there are hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the United States that are at stake. I don't want to talk about what specifically we might do if President Bazoum is not restored to authority, but certainly our aid, our assistance is at stake. But again, I think it's premature to speculate what that might look like at this point."

Responding to a question on recent evacuations carried out by France and other European nations from Niger, Miller said that the US is monitoring the efforts.

"Our Embassy is open today, operating on a normal schedule. We're monitoring the efforts by France and other Europeans to evacuate their citizens. We urge Nigerien authorities to facilitate an orderly, safe evacuation. At this time, we do not have indications of threats to US citizens or facilities, but we are continually re-evaluating our posture to ensure the safety of our citizens," he said.

"We're continuing to have conversations with other leaders in Niger. We've spoken with the former President and continue to press for the security leaders who are attempting to seize power, to press for them to restore President Basoum to his rightful place as the democratically elected leader of the country. We will pursue that for as long as that possibility remains open," the State Department spokesperson added.

On being asked by one of the reporters during the presser if Russia is involved in any way in the coup in Niger, Miller said, "We have not seen any evidence that Russia was behind this coup, but certainly it would not be out of character for Russia or for the Wagner group to try to take advantage of instability in this country or any other in Africa."

Recently over the weekend, pictures from Niger showed protesters waving Russian flags, chanting Putin's name.

French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that it is preparing to evacuate its citizens and people of European nations who wish to leave Niger, days after President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by members of his presidential guard.

In a statement released on its website, French Foreign Ministry said, "Given the situation in Niamey, the violence that took place against our embassy the day before yesterday and the closure of airspace which leaves our compatriots without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means, France is preparing the evacuation of its nationals and of European nationals wishing to leave the country."

French Foreign Ministry's statement comes after the supporters of the coup in Niger on Sunday burned French flags and attacked the French embassy in Niger’s capital, Niamey, Al Jazeera reported.

At least four European countries announced that plans to evacuate their citizens are underway in Niger. (ANI)