India Urges Ukraine-Russia To Announce Ceasefire For Evacuation Of Indians

Concerned over the non-availability of a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation process amid Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday urged Russian and Ukrainian authorities to announce a ‘local ceasefire’ at least so that Indian nationals can be safely evacuated.

Speaking on a special briefing on Operation Ganga, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “It (Evacuation) looks difficult without a ceasefire. We urge the parties concerned- Ukraine and Russia, to have a local ceasefire at least so that we can evacuate our people.”

Bagchi said that on the Western borders the things are quite smooth.

“We had requested Ukraine authorities for special trains but haven’t heard anything yet. Meanwhile, we are arranging buses,” he said.

The MEA Spokesperson further said that the highest attention for evacuation is being given to Eastern Ukraine, particularly Kharkiv and Pisochin.

“Highest attention is on the Eastern Ukraine particularly Kharkiv and Pisochin. We have managed to get some buses there. Five buses are already operational, more buses will be functional later in the evening. 900-1000 Indians stranded in Pisochin and 700 plus are in Sumy. We are concerned about Sumy,” added Bagchi.

He said that over 20,000 Indians have left the Ukraine border “since we issued our advisories.”

“During the 24 hours, 18 flights have landed in India with around 4,000 Indians on board. The total number of flights that have landed have been 48, carrying 10348 Indians,” he said.

He mentioned that sixteen flights were scheduled for the next 24 hours including Indian Air Force’s C-17 aircraft.

Meanwhile, a total of 5,245 Indian nationals were airlifted from Romania to the country till March 3 amid Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, informed the Government of India on Friday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today chaired a meeting to discuss the ongoing evacuation drive of Indian nationals and the situation in conflict-hit Ukraine.

The government has also deployed ‘special envoys’ to four neighboring countries bordering Ukraine to coordinate and oversee the evacuation process of Indian nationals.

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri is overseeing evacuation efforts in Hungary, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju in Slovakia, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Romania and Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways and Civil Aviation Gen VK Singh in Poland.

Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities. (ANI)

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