New Delhi: Hours after Russia claimed that the Indian students have been taken hostage by Ukrainian security forces, India on Thursday (March 3, 2022) said that they have not received any reports of any hostage situation.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement and said that the Indian Embassy in ukraine is in continuous touch with indian nationals in the war-torn country. Indian Embassy in ukraine is in continuous touch with indian nationals
“We have not received any reports of any hostage situation regarding any student. We have requested the support of the Ukrainian authorities in arranging special trains for taking out students from Kharkiv and neighbouring areas to the western part of the country,” the statement added.
“We have been coordinating effectively with the countries in the region including Russia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova,” the MEA said.
The ministry also appreciated the help extended by the Ukrainian authorities to make this possible and thanked Ukraine’s western neighbours in receiving Indian nationals and for accommodating them while they waited for flights to take them back home.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in India had claimed that Indian students have been taken hostage by Ukrainian security forces to use them as a human shield.
“According to the latest information, these students are actually taken hostage by the Ukrainian security forces, who use them as a human shield and in every possible way prevent them from leaving for Russia. Responsibility, in this case, lies entirely with the Kyiv authorities,” Russia in India wrote in a tweet.
“According to our information, Ukrainian authorities forcibly keep a large group of Indian students in Kharkov who wish to leave Ukrainian territory and go to Belgorod,” the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Defence said during the briefing.
“In fact, they are being held as hostages & offered to leave the territory of Ukraine via Ukrainian-Polish border. They offered to go through the territory where active hostilities are taking place,” he said.
Ukraine reacted to Russia’s allegations and called on the Russian Federation to “immediately cease its hostilities in Kharkiv and Sumy so that they can arrange the evacuation of the civilian population, including foreign students, to safer Ukrainian cities”.
“There are students from India, Pakistan, China and other counties who cannot leave because of the indiscriminate shelling and barbaric missile strikes by the Russian Armed Forces on residential areas and civilian infrastructure,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said that the Ukrainian government stands ready to assist foreign students to relocate from Kharkiv and Sumy.
“The Government of Ukraine stands ready to assist foreign students to relocate from Kharkiv and Sumy should Russia commit to a ceasefire. Attempting to arrange evacuations through cities that are being subjected to Russian bombing and missile strikes is extremely dangerous,” the statement read.