Indian embassy warns people to avoid non-essential trips to Ukraine

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Avoid travelling to Ukraine: Embassy
Kiev, Mar 4: Keeping in mind the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Indian embassy in Kiev has asked Indians to defer all "non-essential travel" to Ukraine, said a Times of India report.

However, Indians have not been asked to leave the country en masse so far. But, if an attack is carried out by Russia, the embassy is expected to ask Indians to leave the country.

The Embassy of India in Kiev was established in May 1992 and Ukraine opened its mission in New Delhi in February 1993.

Speaking exclusively with TOI from Kiev, India's ambassador to Ukraine, Rajiv K Chander said the Indian community in the country has been told to avoid all areas of protest.

There are around 4000 Indian students, majority of them in medical field, in Ukraine.Also, there are around 1000 Indians doing business in Ukraine.

Chander told TOI that, "Ukraine is home to about 5000 Indians. Till now, no Indians have been specifically targeted. All Indians coming to Ukraine needs to defer non-essential travel."

He added that, "We took stock of the situation this morning and found out that all the educational institutions with Indian students are open. We have asked the students to attend college as normal till any alert is sounded."

"The advisory we will issue on Tuesday morning says that most of the protests have taken place around government buildings or the governor's house. Hence the violence isn't widespread. Indians have been asked to avoid such places where largescale protest is taking place," Chander added.

The advisory issued earlier by the Indian embassy read:

"There were violent clashes at the Independence Square and European Square in Kiev in which around 100 people were killed and several hundred injured between February 18 and 20. There has been a change of government and a new one was expected to be constituted today on February 25 but has been deferred till February 27, 2014. Therefore, this is a period of transition which will extend till the scheduled Presidential election on May 25, 2014."

"As the situation is still very fluid, it is important that all Indian citizens in Ukraine keep abreast of the latest developments. They are advised to avoid non-essential travel and particularly avoid areas where protests are traditionally held."

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