Air India on Friday, 18 February, announced that it will operate three Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) flights between India and Ukraine on 22, 24, and 26 February for Indians stranded in Ukraine amid the border crisis with Russia.
The flights will operate to and from Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine's largest airport.
This comes a day after India's Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) removed the restriction on number of flights between India and Ukraine under the air bubble arrangement.
The Embassy of India in Ukraine on Wednesday had urged Indians in Ukraine not to panic over reports of people not getting flight tickets, assuring them that more flights were being arranged.
A day before that, in an advisory for Indian nationals in Ukraine, the embassy had asked Indians, "particularly students whose stay is not essential," to temporarily leave Ukraine in light of a potential Russian invasion of the country.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India's embassy in Ukraine had also set up a 24-hour helpline.
The embassy's handle had tweeted a set of FAQs for Indian citizens currently in Ukraine.
Tensions between Russia, Ukraine, NATO, and the US have been simmering for months now.
More than 100,000 Russian troops have been mobilised around the Ukrainian border.
Russia has three key demands from NATO:
The removal of NATO troops from Eastern European countries that joined after 1997
A guarantee that NATO would never induct Ukraine
An assurance that NATO countries will not install missile systems on Russia’s borders
Ukraine, on the other hand, refused to rule out the possibility of joining NATO in order to avoid war with Russia.
In 2019, the Ukrainian Constitution was amended to include Article 85, clause 5, that emphasises on the "realisation of the strategic course of the state on acquiring full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the European Union and in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".