Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met external affairs minister S Jaishankar and other key officials to take stock of the ongoing rescue operations to bring back all Indian nationals from the war-torn Ukraine. All efforts will be made to evacuate Indian nationals out of Ukraine, the PM said.
This is the second meeting chaired by Modi on the situation prevailing out of the Russian expansion in Ukraine. He also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy separately. India has reiterated its stand of defusing the crisis through dialogue, reports The Hisdustan Times.
India’s primary concern is the rescue of thousands of Indians, mostly students, who are stuck in the Eastern European country. With Ukraine closing its air space, India has flown special Air India flights to Budapest (Hungary) and Bucharest (Romania) as part of ‘Operation Ganga’ to bring back its stranded citizens.
A top official familiar with the development said foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla gave a presentation to the prime minister on the current situation in Ukraine with a special focus on the evacuation operations. According to the government, 249 and 240 Indian nationals were brought back in two flights on Sunday while 219 people were flown in a day ago.
Earlier in the day, Shringla said around 2,000 Indian nationals have been evacuated from Ukraine so far. However, there are issues exiting via Poland border and alternative arrangements are being made, he said.
After the war broke out in Ukraine, many Indian citizens were provided temporary shelters by the embassy while the government has started several helplines for those stuck in the war-torn nation and their relatives.
Modi presided over the meeting soon after his return from Uttar Pradesh, where he addressed rallies for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidates for the ongoing assembly elections.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma in a statement said, “The ongoing hostilities and military conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a matter of grave concern for the world. Indian National Congress while expressing its anguish is of the considered view that the international community must work together for cessation of armed conflict and early restoration of peace to save human lives and further aggravation of the crisis.”
“The path of diplomatic negotiations must be embraced in all sincerity for a negotiated resolution of all issues between Russia and Ukraine respecting the MINSK and Russia — NATO agreements and earlier understandings,” he added.
Source: United News of Bangladesh