Assurance of safe passage for Indians should have been sought earlier: Congress

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the situation in Ukraine and safe evacuation of the Indians from the conflict areas, Congress on Thursday said that the assurance of safe passage should have been sought much earlier.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted: “Safe passage assurance from Russia should have been taken much earlier; rather than prescribing last minute ‘aatmanirbhar’ pill to Indians stuck in Ukraine; BJP Govt should have had a evacuation/safe passage blue print ready much before hell broke loose !!”

On Wednesday, in a telephonic conversation with Putin, Prime Minister Modi discussed the situation in Ukraine and sought safe passage for the Indians stranded in the country.

The two leaders reviewed the situation, especially in the city of Kharkiv where many Indian students are stuck, and discussed their safe evacuation from the conflict areas, an MEA statement said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too had demanded that the government share the details of the evacuation plan.

“To avert further tragedy, GOI must share: How many students have been evacuated. How many are still stranded in Ukraine. Region-wise detailed evacuation plan. We owe a clear strategy & communication to the families involved,” he had tweeted.

The MEA said that around 17,000 Indian nationals have left the war-torn country since the Indian Embassy in Ukraine issued its advisory.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that the Embassy in Kyiv has been asked to set up a temporary office in Lviv to facilitate border crossing into neighbouring European countries by Indian nationals.

He also said that a mechanism has been established for issuing emergency certificates to those who lost their Indian passports.

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