- The four Ministers are -- Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and Gen VK Singh
- A large number of Indians, mostly students, are stranded in Ukraine following Russia's attack
- PM Modi has said ensuring safety of Indians and their return is govt's top priority
The government has stepped up its efforts to evacuate Indian students stranded in war-hit Ukraine. The government is now sending four Union Ministers to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuations of stranded Indian nationals. The four Ministers are -- Hardeep Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju and Gen VK Singh.
All the Ministers will be going as Special Envoys of India to coordinate with officials of the countries to expedite the evacuation process of Indian nationals. While Scindia will travel to Romania and Moldova to oversee the evacuations, Rijiju will go to Slovakia. Hardeep Singh Puri and VK Singh will go to Hungary and Poland, respectively.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting today morning in Delhi, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Several ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, also attended the meeting. The Prime Minister is personally monitoring the evacuation exercise of Indian nationals from the war-torn nation and speaking to officials.
Notably, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered to expand the military offensive against Ukraine by the urgent need to 'demilitarise' the country and even put the nuclear forces on high alert.
Yesterday, PM Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis and asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government's top priority. It was also decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to expedite the evacuation of Indian students.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was part of the meeting, which was also attended by top government officials, including National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. The meeting lasted for over two hours.
A large number of Indians, mostly students, are stranded in Ukraine following Russia's attack on the country.
India began evacuating its nationals before Russian forces entered the country on February 24. However, the evacuation was halted after Ukraine's airspace was closed. The government then coordinated with Ukraine's neighbours to help evacuate stranded Indian nationals from Ukraine. Five flights from Ukraine's neighbouring countries have brought back more than 1000 citizens since then.
PM Modi has also spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, with India calling for dialogue to defuse the crisis.