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India eases restrictions on flights from Ukraine to facilitate easy evacuation

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New Delhi, Feb 17: The Ministry of Civil Aviation has removed the restrictions on the number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine.

India eases restrictions on flights from Ukraine to facilitate easy evacuation

This has been done to facilitate the easy evacuation of students and professionals stranded in Ukraine which has been hit by a crisis. In a statement the Ministry of Civil Aviation said, MoCA has removed restriction on number of flights & seats b/w India-Ukraine in Air Bubble arrangement. Any number of flights and Charter flights can operate. Indian airlines informed to mount flights due to increase in demand. MoCA facilitating in coordination with MEA.

India on Tuesday advised its citizens in Ukraine to temporarily leave that country amid escalating tension between Moscow and the NATO countries over Russia's increasing military build-up close to the Ukrainian border.

In an advisory, the Indian embassy in Kyiv asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.

"In view of the uncertainties of the current situation in Ukraine, Indian nationals in Ukraine, particularly students whose stay is not essential, may consider leaving temporarily," it said.

"Indian nationals are also advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine," the embassy said.

The number of Indians residing in Ukraine at present is not immediately know. According to an official document in 2020, Ukraine had a small but vibrant Indian community and there were about 18,000 Indian students studying in that country. The data is likely to vary in view of the pandemic.

In the advisory, the Indian embassy in Ukraine also asked Indian nationals to keep it informed about their status to enable the mission to reach out to them when required.

"Indian nationals are requested to keep the Embassy informed about the status of their presence in Ukraine to enable the Embassy to reach them where required," the embassy said.

It said the mission continues to function normally to provide all services to Indian nationals in Ukraine.

The US and its Western allies have been severely critical of Russia over its continuing build-up of forces near the Ukraine border.

The US has already sent extra troops to Europe to support its allies in the backdrop of fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has positioned around 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine besides sending warships into the Black Sea for naval exercises, triggering concerns among the NATO countries about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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