New Delhi: As thousands of Indians remain worryingly stuck in war-torn Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin today apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the “ongoing measures related to humanitarian corridors” for facilitating evacuation of civilians, including Indian students.
Putin mentioned the measures during a phone call with Modi who conveyed his deep concern for the safety and security of the Indian students still remaining in Sumy, according the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
There are an estimated 800 Indians, mostly students, in Sumy, which is located in the North East of Ukraine towards the Russian border.
The Indian government has been finding it hugely challenging to evacuate them because of continuous bombardment and absence of transportation.
The distressed students there have been threatening to move on foot towards the Russian border despite huge dangers to their as they are no longer willing to wait for the Indian government to safely evacuate them.
Prior to his conversation with Putin, Modi spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and expressed deep concern for safety and security of Indian students still remaining in Ukraine, according to the MEA.
The Indian Prime Minister emphasized the need for their quick and safe evacuation, the MEA said.
During both the conversations, the Indian Prime Minister expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict and the resultant humanitarian crisis and pitched for direct talks between Putin and Zelenskyy for restoration of peace.
“The two leaders discussed the evolving situation in Ukraine,” the MEA said about the telephonic talk between Modi and Putin.
“President Putin briefed Prime Minister Modi on the status of negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian teams,” it said in a statement.
The MEA said Modi welcomed the ongoing negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and expressed hope that they would lead to cessation of the conflict.
“He suggested that a direct conversation between President Putin and President Zelenskyy may greatly assist the ongoing peace efforts,” it said.
The Prime Minister earlier spoke with Zelenskyy who briefed him in detail about the conflict situation and the ongoing negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, it said.
Modi “reiterated his call for immediate cessation of violence and noted that India has always stood for peaceful resolution of issues and direct dialogue between the two parties,” the MEA said.
The Prime Minister thanked Ukrainian authorities for their facilitation in evacuating more than 20000 Indian citizens from Ukraine.
“He expressed deep concern for safety and security of Indian students still remaining in Ukraine and emphasized the need for their quick and safe evacuation,” it said.
Zelenskyy later tweeted: “Informed Indian Prime Minister @narendramodi about Ukraine countering Russian aggression. India appreciates the assistance to its citizens during the war and Ukraine’s commitment to direct peaceful dialogue at the highest level. Grateful for the support to the Ukrainian people.”