• Thursday, October 06, 2022

EUROPE

Indians in Ukraine advised to ‘stay calm’

Some 470 students set to exit Ukraine and enter Romania through Porubne-Siret Border. Indian Embassy in Ukraine moving Indians located at the border to neighbouring countries for onward evacuation. (ANI Photo)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

INDIAN nationals stuck in Ukraine should stay calm and remain wherever they are residing, Russian diplomatic sources said on Friday (25) amid India’s moves to evacuate its citizens from the eastern European nation.

The sources said president Vladimir Putin conveyed to India’s prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (24) night that the Russian “military operation” in Ukraine “does not represent any threat to the civilian population”.

“The Indian nationals should stay calm and not panic. They should stay wherever they are residing,” said a Russian diplomatic source.

In a telephone conversation with Putin, Modi raised concerns over the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine and stressed India’s priority for their safe exit and return home, according to an official statement.

A Russian readout noted that Putin said “necessary instructions would be given”.

The sources added that Russia “will definitely extend assistance” to India for the evacuation of its citizens from Ukraine if it received “any specific request”.

India’s foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Thursday (24) there were some 20,000 Indians in Ukraine and nearly 4,000 have returned home in recent days.

India is looking at evacuating its nationals through Ukraine’s land borders with Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania as the Ukrainian government closed the country’s airspace following the Russian military offensive.

Shringla told reporters on Thursday (24) night that teams of Indian officials were on their way to the Zahony border post in Hungary, Krakowiec land border in Poland, Vysne Nemecke in Slovak Republic, and Suceava land border in Romania.

“We have also asked some of our officers to go across and set up camp offices in Ukraine close to the border to the places we have identified – Lviv, which is close to Poland, and Chernivtsi which is close to Romania,” he said.

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