India identifies land routes for Ukraine evacuations, S Jaishankar phone calls | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Minister's late-night calls on Ukraine as India lists evacuation land routes

Feb 25, 2022 06:04 AM IST

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Indian nationals in Ukraine near the border points can contact government teams from Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Romania.

India is identifying land routes for evacuations from Ukraine where over 100 people were killed on Day-1 of attack by Russia, which has triggered global panic. Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar dialed in his Russian counterpart too and "underlined that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way forward". In a series of late-night tweets, the minister shared that he also took up the evacuation issue with the ministers from Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. "Times of difficulty-that’s what friends are for," S Jaishankar, 67, wrote in one of the posts.

Russia-Ukraine crisis: Ukrainian servicemen stand near an armored personnel carrier BTR-3 on the northwest of Kyiv. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)(AFP)
Russia-Ukraine crisis: Ukrainian servicemen stand near an armored personnel carrier BTR-3 on the northwest of Kyiv. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)(AFP)

Indian nationals in Ukraine near the border points can contact government teams from Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Romania, Arindam Bagchi, the spokersperson for the ministry of external affairs, tweeted with the contact details. Earlier on Thursday, the MEA had put out a statement saying, “The Government of India is closely monitoring the situation and evacuation plans are being worked out." The assurances came as Ukraine's airspace was closed for civilian flights.

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Around 20,000 students and citizens are in Ukraine that saw military strikes in several major cities as Russia began its military offensive; air raid sirens rang out the country's main cities. The Russian forces stormed across the country and airbases were destroyed. “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, seeking help from the West.

A defiant Putin - despite global condemnation - said, "What is happening now is a necessary measure, we were left with no other option." He also asked the Ukraine military to "lay down arms and go home".

On Thursday night, the Prime Minister spoke to Putin "about India's concerns regarding the safety of the Indian citizens in Ukraine, especially students, and conveyed that India attaches the highest priority to their safe exit and return to India."

"President Putin briefed Prime Minister about the recent developments regarding Ukraine. Prime Minister reiterated his long-standing conviction that the differences between Russia and the NATO group can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue. Prime Minister appealed for an immediate cessation of violence, and called for concerted efforts from all sides to return to the path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue," a government statement read.

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