New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi will speak to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on the phone this morning, government sources have said. On February 26, PM Modi spoke to Zelensky first time after an all-out war broke out between Russia and Ukraine on February 24. After India abstained during a vote in the United Nations, Zelensky spoke to PM Modi and sought India’s political support at the UNSC.
Modi’s expected talk with Zelenskyy comes amid India’s all out efforts to evacuate its nationals, mostly students, from the country facing attack from Russia.
Students stuck in a medical college hostel in the Ukrainian city of Sumy were told yesterday by the Indian Embassy to “be ready to leave on short notice”. A team of officials has been stationed in Poltava – nearly a three-hour drive from Sumy – to coordinate the safe passage of the students.
Evacuation from the warzone has been a huge challenge for the authorities with students struggling in the bitter cold, amid depleting food supplies and drinking water.
Students shared videos saying they have decided to take a risky journey to the Russian border that’s 50 kilometres away. They, however, decided to stay put after the government contacted them and advised to “avoid unnecessary risks”.
India has been urging Ukraine and Russia to impose a ceasefire in the northeastern Ukrainian city to evacuate around 700 students, trapped after Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February, with their evacuation hampered because of fighting in the area, foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters.
India has brought back over 15,920 of its nationals in 76 flights under mission “Operation Ganga” which was launched on February 26.