New Delhi: Amid rising tensions between the former Soviet state and its neighbour Russia, India has asked its citizens living in Ukraine not to panic over reports of people not getting flight tickets.
India’s embassy in Ukraine, in a tweet, said it is aware of reports of people not getting flights; however, it asked Indians living in Ukraine not to panic as more flights are being planned.
The embassy did not specify by when exactly the additional flights would be operational. It said details would be shared by the embassy “as and when confirmed”.
“Embassy of India has been receiving several appeals about non-availability of flights from Ukraine to India. In this regard, students are advised not to resort to panic, but book the earliest available and convenient flights to travel to India,” the embassy tweeted.
“At present, Ukrainian International Airlines, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Qatar Airways etc are operating flights,” it said.
The embassy said “more flights are being planned in the near future”, including from Air India and Ukrainian International Airlines.
Russia today said military drills in Moscow-annexed Crimea had ended and that soldiers were returning to their garrisons, a day after it announced a troop pullback from Ukraine’s borders.
However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO, chief Jens Stoltenberg said Russia’s military build-up seemed to be continuing around Ukraine despite Moscow announcing the pullback of more forces.
“We have heard the signs from Moscow about readiness to continue diplomatic efforts, but so far, we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground,” Mr Stoltenberg said ahead of a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers. “On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues their military build-up,” he said.
An intense diplomatic campaign is underway to head off the crisis.
Russia has repeatedly blamed the Ukraine crisis on the West, saying the US and western Europe are ignoring Russia’s legitimate security concerns. Russia insists NATO must give assurances that Ukraine will never be admitted as a NATO member and the alliance roll back its presence in several eastern European and ex-Soviet countries.