Focus on border areas of Ukraine for evacuation: MEA

Four Union ministers to visit neighbouring countries to oversee evacuation

New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI): The government on Monday urged students stranded in war-hit Ukraine not to panic, but move to the western border with curfew lifted in Kyiv, even as it marshalled more flights and sent four central ministers to oversee the evacuation operations directly.

Six flights have arrived so far, bringing back 1,396 Indians — four left from Bucharest and two from Budapest. “Over the next 24 hours, there are more flights scheduled, two from Bucharest, to Delhi and Mumbai, and one from Budapest to Delhi,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a special news briefing.


He said over 8,000 Indians have left Ukraine so far since the first of the advisories was issued on February 15. In a related development, Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri and VK Singh are to travel to Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland to oversee the evacuation of Indians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision on Monday to send the four ministers to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation mission.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Scindia will go to Romania and Moldova, Law and Justice Minister Rijiju to Slovakia, Housing and Development Minister Puri to Hungary and Road Transport and Highways Minister of State VK Singh to Poland.

PM Modi has said that ensuring the safety of Indian students stranded in Ukraine and their evacuation was the government’s top priority.

The MEA spokesperson said that currently the focus is on land borders for the evacuation. He said there has been some improvement regarding movement on the Polish border, and added that the Embassy in Warsaw has arranged a fleet of 10 buses to take students stuck at the Shehyni border and take them onward to north of Poland for being evacuated.

At the Polish border, arrangements for food and accommodation have been made, he said, adding that a number of Indians are already there awaiting flights to India. Besides the crowded border conditions in Poland, there has also been chaos on the Romania border, but the situation has improved there, he added.

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