Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting today that the topmost priority of the government is the safety and security of Indian nationals including Indian students and their evacuation from Ukraine. Briefing media tonight, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said Prime Minister Naredra Modi is scheduled to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will be speaking to the foreign ministers of the countries neighbouring Ukraine – Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. The Foreign Secretary added that a number of steps have been taken over the last month or so to deal with the emerging situation in Ukraine including the contingencies that could arise. He said the Ministry started registrations of Indian nationals in Ukraine about a month ago.
Mr Shringla said there were about 20 thousand Indian nationals, including students in Ukraine. Of these, about four thousand have since left the country. Ministry took a number of members to facilitate flights out of the country. These include removing the cap on the number of passengers that could fly out of Ukraine. He said they also ensured that the number of flights were augmented rapidly from twice a week to two flights a day.
The Foreign Secretary also said that the Indian Embassy in Ukraine continues to be functional. Today itself, the Embassy issued three advisories. He said universities are being consulted and a control room has been set up by the Ministry. Around 980 calls were answered and 850 emails were dealt with today. Russian speaking officers have been dispatched to Kyiv and to the countries neighbouring Ukraine.