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'No immediate evacuation plan': Govt on Indians in Ukraine

India on Thursday said it does not have any immediate plan to evacuate its citizens or the diplomatic staff from Ukraine in view of the unfolding situation there

Ukraine

People take part in the Unity March, which is a procession to demonstrate Ukrainians patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia, in Independence Square in Kyiv (Photo: Reuters)

Press Trust of India New Delhi
India on Thursday said it does not have any immediate plan to evacuate its citizens or the diplomatic staff from Ukraine in view of the unfolding situation there and that its focus has been on ensuring the safety of its nationals than anything "larger".
Amid rising tensions between Russia and the Western countries over the Ukraine crisis, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India has been supportive of an immediate de-escalation of tensions and resolution of the situation through sustained diplomatic dialogue.
At a media briefing, Bagchi said there were a limited number of flights between India and Ukraine under the air bubble arrangement and that the restrictions on the number of flights and the passengers have been removed that would facilitate the return of Indians who want to come back.
In response to a question, he said Indian carriers are being encouraged to operate charter flights between India and Ukraine and that there are flights through other routes such as Almaty, Sharjah, Istanbul and Dubai.
The embassy on Tuesday advised Indian citizens, especially students, to temporarily leave that country in view of the uncertainties of the current situation.
It also asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.
"Our focus is and remains on Indian citizens, Indian students, Indian nationals rather than anything larger than that and in terms of what we need to do to ensure that they are safe," Bagchi said.
He said the Indian embassy in Kyiv has been in touch with the Indian students in Ukraine and that there is no plan to evacuate the Indians or the diplomatic staff.
"I don't think any decision on evacuation has been taken. Our embassy continues to function normally and provide services to Indian nationals in Ukraine. As our advisory said, those who are (engaged) in non-essential activities, we request them to leave, as well as not undertake non-essential travel," he said.
Bagchi said that the situation in Ukraine is a "live issue" and the Indian embassy in Kyiv is monitoring developments.
He said at the media briefing that India has been supportive of an immediate de-escalation of tensions and resolution of the Ukraine crisis through sustained diplomatic dialogue.
"We have been supportive of an immediate de-escalation of tensions and a resolution of the issue through sustained diplomatic dialogue. We also welcome efforts being undertaken under the Normandy format for the implementation of the Minsk agreement," he said.
The spokesperson said India also welcomed efforts being undertaken for the implementation of the Minsk agreement, noting that New Delhi is not a party to any dialogue to defuse the situation.
"We would like to see a diplomatic way and a peaceful resolution of the situation," Bagchi said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday set up a control room to provide information and assistance to Indian nationals in Ukraine. In addition, the Indian embassy in Ukraine has also set up a 24-hour helpline for the Indians in the eastern European nation.
Russia has positioned around 1,00,000 troops near its border with Ukraine besides sending warships into the Black Sea for naval exercises, triggering concerns among the NATO countries about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has been denying that it plans to invade Ukraine.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 18 2022 | 1:08 AM IST

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