Modi speaks to EU Prez expresses anguish over humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

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New Delhi, March 2

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening spoke with the President of European Council, Charles Michel, and expressed his anguish over the deteriorating situation and humanitarian crisis in war-hit Ukraine.

He reiterated India's appeal for cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue.

The Prime Minister stressed that the contemporary global order is anchored on international law, UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of all the nations.

Modi also stressed upon the importance of ensuring free and uninterrupted humanitarian access and smooth movement of people.

He spoke about the efforts being made by India to send urgent relief supplies, including medicines, to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force's C-17 transport aircraft will leave for Romania at 4 am on Wednesday to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday evening.

The aircraft will take off from its base at the Hindon Air Station near Delhi.

The war waged by Russia has reached Ukraine capital Kiev and the country's second largest city Kharkiv. Further, different countries' embassies in Kiev, including the Indian Embassy, are moving their operations to Lviv amid intensified bombing.

Over next three days, 26 IAF flights have been scheduled to operate.

"At 4 am on Wednesday, a C-17 aircraft will fly to Romania to evacuate the stranded Indian students," Shringla said.

Expressing deep concerns over the developments in Ukraine, Shringla said that so far, 12,000 Indians have left Ukraine, which is about 60 per cent of total Indians present in Ukraine. He also confirmed that no Indian is stranded in Kiev as of now.

The Foreign Secretary said that Indian nationals have been advised to head to the western parts of Ukraine and exit from there whenever they can.

They can go towards Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Moldova. As many as 7,700 nationals have exited through these routes, he informed.


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