New Delhi: Amid a fresh military buildup on the borders sparking fears of an escalating Ukraine conflict, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv (Kiev) on Tuesday asked its nationals, especially students, to consider leaving the country temporarily, owing to the “uncertainties of the current situation”.
Earlier, on Monday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres had told journalists that “there is no alternative to diplomacy”. In a statement made at the UN Headquarters in New York, he said, “I am deeply worried by the heightened tensions and increased speculation about a potential military conflict in Europe.”
In its advisory, the Indian Embassy has asked Indians to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine. It has also asked all Indians to keep the Embassy informed of their whereabouts in Ukraine in case the embassy needed to reach them. As of now, the embassy said it will continue to function normally.
The advisory reads, “In view of the uncertainties of the current situation in Ukraine, Indian nationals in Ukraine, particularly students, whose stay is not essential, may consider leaving temporarily. Indian nationals are also advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.
“Indian nationals are requested to keep the Embassy informed about the status of their presence in Ukraine to enable the Embassy to reach them where required. The Embassy continues to function normally to provide all services to Indian nationals in Ukraine.”
Russia has deployed over 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border, leading to fears of an imminent attack. Amidst reports of the escalating situation, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Ukraine on Monday and plans to visit Moscow today in what appears to be a last-ditch attempt to avoid a feared Russian invasion that the US said could begin as soon as Wednesday.
Scholz had previously issued a clear warning against any Russian attack on Ukraine, stating that any aggression from Russia would be met with heavy economic consequences. “We are ready for very far-reaching and effective sanctions in coordination with our allies,” he said on Monday. Germany is a key trade partner for Russia in Europe, and the biggest consumer of Russian natural gas.
Japan too has warned of sanctions if Russia attacks Ukraine, while US President Joe Biden has warned that the US and its allies would respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs if Russia invades Ukraine. The US has also issued an advisory for its citizens to leave Ukraine immediately owing to the increased threat of Russian military action.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister reportedly told Russian President Vladimir Putin that there was still room for a diplomatic de-escalation, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Wednesday would be a national ‘Day of Unity’.
Indiablooms News Service