Delhi:  PM Modi talks to President Putin on safe travel of Indians

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New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin over phone on the situation in Ukraine and demanded a safe passage for Indians in the country.

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said the two leaders particularly reviewed the situation in the city of Kharkiv, where several Indian students are stranded, and discussed the safe evacuation of Indian nationals from conflict zones. This happened after the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked all Indians in Kharkiv to leave the city by any means, including on foot, by 6 pm (local time). The Ministry of External Affairs said that around 17,000 Indian civilians have left the war-torn country since the Indian embassy in Ukraine issued its advisory. Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the embassy in Kyiv has been asked to set up a temporary office in Liv to facilitate border crossings by Indian nationals into neighboring European countries.

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He also said that a mechanism has been put in place to issue emergency certificates to those who have lost Indian passports. “A large part of our embassy team is now in Lviv for this purpose. The location of the second section of the embassy team is dynamic,” he said.

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“We are exploring options to reach eastern Ukraine to help rescue civilians trapped there,” the spokesman said. We’re looking to see if our team can get there, it’s not going to be easy, because the road isn’t open all the time.

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