Published: 03rd March 2022
Serious efforts underway to evacuate Indian students from Ukraine: Om Birla
Special flights under 'Operation Ganga' have been pressed into action to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine
Amid Russian military operations in Ukraine, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday, March 2, said that the government is making "serious efforts" to evacuate Indian students stranded in Ukraine's "war zone" areas. The Lok Sabha speaker was speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an event. He said, "Serious efforts being made by the government are underway to evacuate the stranded Indian students from war zone areas of Ukraine."
Birla also said that he has spoken to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Special flights under 'Operation Ganga' have been pressed into action to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in Ukraine. On March 2, Jaishankar tweeted, "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 3,000 Indian nationals." A total of 17,000 Indian nationals have left Ukraine since the advisories were issued and flights under 'Operation Ganga' were scaled up to facilitate the evacuation of the remaining students stranded in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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. For the past few days, the Prime Minister has been chairing crucial meetings on the issue.
Russian forces launched military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognised 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 have imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised military aid to Ukraine. The US, Canada and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT, which means that the 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.