Control rooms have also been set up and emergency helplines announced by the Indian embassy in Ukraine to handle queries by Indian citizens
New Delhi: The government on Wednesday urged Indian students in Ukraine “to maintain calm” and not panic if they are not able to get flight tickets to return home, adding that the government was in touch with several airlines to expand the number of flights between India and Ukraine. Control rooms have also been set up by the external affairs ministry and emergency helplines announced by the Indian embassy in Ukraine to handle queries by Indian citizens in Ukraine and their families in India in view of mounting anxieties.
The Indian embassy in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv told the students, in the form of responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): “It is important to maintain calm and not give rise to panic. Those desirous of travelling back to India are advised to book available commercial flight tickets. The MEA is also in discussions with the civil aviation ministry (in New Delhi) and various airlines for expanding flights between India and Ukraine. As of now, available flight connections are Delhi-Kyiv (Ukraine International Airlines) and other connections via Sharjah, Dubai, Almaty, Frankfurt, Doha. Tickets should be purchased from verified and reliable sources only.”
As reported earlier, India had on Tuesday asked its nationals in Ukraine, including students, to “consider leaving temporarily”, adding that Indians outside Ukraine are “advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine”. The advisory was also meant for Indian students in Ukraine “whose stay is not essential”. Indian nationals were also asked to update India’s embassy in Kyiv on their movements so that they could be reached, with New Delhi saying the embassy was functioning normally.
Earlier on Wednesday, sources said: “We are aware that many Indian students are in Ukraine, and their families are anxious about their wards, particularly about getting flights to India. Discussions are underway with civil aviation authorities and the airlines on how to increase the number of flights between India and Ukraine.”
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been rising in the past few weeks in view of the reported mobilisation of Russian troops along the Ukranian border, but now there is hope that the situation may finally de-escalate.