NEW DELHI: Amid ongoing Russia’s military operations against Ukraine, the Government of India will arrange evacuation flights for Indian nationals in Ukraine, said sources on Friday.
The sources further said that the cost will be completely borne by the government for this evacuation. “Two flights for Bucharest today and one flight for Budapest for tomorrow are being planned to be operated as GOI chartered flights,” said Government sources.
Air India is operating three flights between India-Ukraine on February 22, 24, and 26. The flights will take off from Boryspil International Airport and bookings are open through Air India booking offices, website, call centers, and authorized travel agents.
Earlier on Thursday, with Ukraine closing its airspace after Russia launched a military operation against it, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had sent teams to the land borders with Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and Romania to assist the evacuation of Indian nationals.
India strongly emphasized the need for all sides to exercise the utmost restraint and intensify diplomatic efforts to ensure a mutually amicable solution.
A number of explosions were heard in the capital city of Ukraine as the Russian special military operation entered the second day, local media reported on Friday.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities. Later, Putin ordered special military operations “to protect” the people in the Donbas region.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations and imposed sanctions on Moscow.
CCS meeting on Ukraine crisis
At the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the topmost priority of the government is the safety and security of Indian nationals, informed Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday.
Addressing a special briefing on the Ukraine situation following the CCS meet here, Shringla said, “At the CCS meeting, PM Modi has stated that the topmost priority of the government is the safety and security of Indian nationals including students in Ukraine.” Amid the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, the Prime Minister on Thursday chaired a CCS meeting in New Delhi.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Hardeep Singh Puri among others were present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, PM Modi will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly amid Moscow’s ongoing military operations in Ukraine, said Shringla on Thursday.
The tensions between the two nations escalated after Putin on Monday recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities escalating the ongoing tensions between the two countries. Ukraine gained independence in 1991 after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Putin on Thursday morning said special military operations are being launched “to protect” the people in the Donbas region. He also warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences”.
Leaders from a number of countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in the Donbas region.
Moreover, many Indian citizens and students are stranded in Ukraine.
The Indian Embassy on Thursday issued a third travel advisory to Indian nationals/students.
The Mission asked Indians to be aware of the surroundings, be safe, do not leave homes unless necessary and stress on carrying their documents at all times. (ANI)