India relocates embassy in Ukraine to Poland

Move follows increase in Russian attacks on Kyiv, Lviv

Updated - March 14, 2022 07:56 am IST

Published - March 13, 2022 09:13 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Indian Embassy in Warsaw. Photo: Twitter/@IndiainPoland

The Indian Embassy in Warsaw. Photo: Twitter/@IndiainPoland

With the Russian forces stepping up their attacks on Ukrainian cities and closing in on capital Kyiv, the government has decided to relocate its embassy, moving all officials across the border to Poland. The decision to move out of Ukraine came after the Russian attacks on the western Ukrainian town of Lviv near the Polish border, where the Indian embassy had set up a camp office for the past few weeks to facilitate the movement of Indian students fleeing the country.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi viewed a presentation by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the operations completed thus far, and the security situation in Ukraine.

“In view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, including attacks in the western parts of the country, it has been decided that the Indian embassy in Ukraine will be temporarily relocated to Poland,” the MEA announced on Sunday, adding that the situation would be “reassessed in the light of further developments”.

‘Operation Ganga’

The decision also follows the winding down of “Operation Ganga”, the government’s evacuation mission to fly about 20,000 students and other Indian citizens out of four countries neighbouring Ukraine. The last big group of students from the besieged town of Sumy were flown back to India on Friday, after being seen off on trains to Poland by Indian Ambassador to Ukraine Partha Satpathy.

When asked, MEA officials did not confirm how many Indian citizens are still in Ukraine, but said all those who remained had been contacted by the MEA control centre. With the Indian mission in Ukraine closed for now, the government will have to depend on local volunteer agencies and “contractors” in case any more Indian citizens decide they want to leave.

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