Russia doing everything to evacuate Indians: Putin to Modi

New Delhi/Moscow, Mar 7 (UNI): Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Russian military personnel are making every effort to ensure the evacuation of Indian citizens from Sumy.

During their phone call, Putin informed Modi about the decision of the Russian Armed Forces to establish a ceasefire and open humanitarian corridors today amid the worsening of the humanitarian situation. However, Ukrainian “nationalists, using force and different kinds of provocations” were continuing to prevent the evacuation of civilians, including foreign citizens, from the battle zones, a Kremlin readout of the talks said.

Putin pointed out that “the Indian students held by the radicals in Kharkov managed to leave the city only after strong international pressure on the Kiev authorities” – referring to his earlier statement that Ukrainian nationalists were holding Indians hostage. Modi expressed gratitude to the Russian side for the measures taken to return his compatriots to their homeland.

At the request of the Prime Minister of India, Vladimir Putin outlined his assessments of the course of negotiations between the Russian delegation and the Ukrainian representatives, the third round of which is scheduled to be held on Monday.

Modi indicated his readiness to provide any possible assistance in order to resolve the conflict as soon as possible, the readout said. The two sides discussed the situation around the special military operation in Donbass, including the evacuation of the Indian citizens.

The talks, their third since February 24, lasted 50 minutes. The Indian official readout of the talks said Modi suggested that “a direct conversation between President Putin and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy may greatly assist the ongoing peace efforts”.

Modi also conveyed his deep concern for the safety and security of the Indian students still remaining in Sumy. President Putin briefed Prime Minister Modi about the ongoing measures related to humanitarian corridors for facilitating evacuation of civilians including Indian students. He welcomed the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and expressed hope that they would lead to cessation of the conflict.

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