Union ministers Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and V K Singh will be going as "special envoys" of India, government sources said.

Indians holding tricolour before evacuation in Bucharestpti / Indian nationals in Bucharest before evacuation
news Ukraine crisis Monday, February 28, 2022 - 15:28

The government on Monday decided to send four Union ministers to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation process of Indians, including students, still stuck in the war-torn country. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Union ministers Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and V K Singh will be going as "special envoys" of India, government sources said. Scindia will take care of evacuation efforts from Romania and Moldova while Rijiju will go to Slovakia. The sources said that Puri will go to Hungary while Singh will be in Poland to manage the evacuation. 

The decision to send these ministers came a day after Modi asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government's top priority. 

Monday's meeting was also attended by several ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla among other senior officials.

Modi had chaired a meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday too.

It was decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to expedite the evacuation of Indian students, sources had said.

The Indian embassy in Ukraine on Monday advised all Indian students stranded in Kyiv to reach the railway station in the Ukrainian capital for their onward journey to the western parts of the war-torn country.

It said the weekend curfew in Kyiv has been lifted and they can go to the railway station to get out of the city. 

"Weekend curfew lifted in Kyiv. All students are advised to make their way to the railway station for onward journey to the western parts. Ukraine Railways is putting special trains for evacuations," the embassy tweeted.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, meanwhile, said the sixth flight under India's evacuation mission 'Operation Ganga' left for Delhi from Budapest with 240 Indian nationals.

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Sunday said the main concern for India is ensuring the safety of its nationals stuck in areas witnessing intense fighting including in Kyiv that has around 2,000 Indians.

India has already evacuated over 2,000 of its citizens from Ukraine and more than 1,000 of them have been brought back home on chartered flights from Hungary and Romania. 

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