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PM Modi speaks to President Putin on safe passage of Indians

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

IANS | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on phone on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation in Ukraine, and sought safge passage for Indians in the country.

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

This came as the Indian Embassy in Ukraine asked all Indians in Kharkiv to leave the city by any means, including on foot, by 6 p.m. (local time).

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 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.

“A substantial segment of our embassy team is now at Lviv for this purpose. Location of the other segment of the embassy team is dynamic,” he added.

“We are exploring options to reach eastern Ukraine to assist the evacuation of citizens who are stuck there. We are seeing if our teams can reach there, it’s not easy because the route is not open all the time,” the spokesperson said.