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Won't Leave Till Last Indian Is Evacuated From Ukraine: Kiren Rijiju In Slovakia

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

Won't Leave Till Last Indian Is Evacuated From Ukraine: Kiren Rijiju In Slovakia
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju with Indian nationals evacuated from Ukraine to Slovakia (Image Source : @KirenRijiju Twitter)

Kosice [Slovakia]:
Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, who is in Slovakia to oversee the evacuation of Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine, on Wednesday (local time) said that he will not leave the place till the last fellow citizen is safely evacuated from the crisis-torn country.

Rijiju is one of the four 'special envoys' deployed by the Government of India to oversee the evacuation process of Indian nationals in Ukraine's neighbouring countries under Operation Ganga. He reached the Slovakian city of Kosice on Wednesday.

Interacting with Indian students who reached Kosice after crossing the Ukraine border, the Union Minister said, "Our priority is to evacuate everyone safely. We have already given our assurance to everyone that we will evacuate every Indian safely. It is Prime Minister's direction that we will not leave anyone behind. Those who are in the war zone, there are some compulsions. Even our embassy staff cannot reach there since firing and bombardment is underway. So there are difficulties. The evacuation is not that easy. The circumstances are very challenging. But still, we are making efforts."

Rijiju urged students to convey the message to their parents that the Government of India is putting all efforts to help them reach home safely.

"I will not leave this place till the last Indian is evacuated from Ukraine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji has given a clear direction to secure our citizens and bring them home as soon as possible. India is the only country to carry out the rescue operation at this level," he said.

Taking to Twitter, Rijiju said, "Good to see huge relief in the faces of our students who have reached Slovakia from Ukraine. All of them are given proper care and kept near Kosice in Slovakia. 189 of them are leaving tonight for India. Good to see the smiles on the face of our students after a long ordeal. Have a safe journey home. Good to see the smiles in the face of our students after a long ordeal."

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said nine flights took off on Thursday from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland.

"Nine flights have taken off today from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland. Includes IAF aircraft. 6 flights more are expected to depart shortly. Altogether, will bring back more than 3000 Indian nationals," tweeted Jaishankar.

A total of 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since the advisories were issued and flights under Operation Ganga have been increased to facilitate the evacuation of remaining students stranded in Ukraine.

The students who left Ukraine also included some Indians who had not registered with the Embassy of India in Kyiv previously.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting on the issue. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and other officials. The Prime Minister has been chairing crucial meetings on the issue in the last few days.

Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - as independent entities.

Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised Ukraine to help with military aid to fight Russia.

The US, Canada and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT which means Russian banks won't be able to communicate securely with banks beyond Russia's borders. President Putin has also signed a decree on special economic measures against the US and its allies.

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