The Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, in his reassurance to the Indian students stranded in Ukraine on Friday, 24 February, underlined that the "Ministry for External Affairs is taking steps to bring back about 18,000 Indian students from Ukraine," ANI reported.
Noting that the airspace in Ukraine is cordoned off, he said that alternate arrangements were being made for the evacuation of all Indian nationals. "Central govt will ensure the safety of all Indians," Muraleedharan said.
He added that he had spoken to Malayali students on the phone earlier in the day and that they were being provided with regular supplies of food, water, and power.
"Students & parents should not panic. Our govt has brought back Indians even from places like Iraq," Muraleedharan said.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Indian government was taking all measures to bring back all its citizens, including students.
"India wants peace to prevail and no situation promoting a war should arise," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Minister for External Affairs, S Jaishankar, also said that he had spoken to the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union Josep Borell, deliberating on the ways in which India could contribute to the de-escalation efforts, reported ANI.
Congress MP KC Venugopal, meanwhile, wrote to Jaishankar, seeking his intervention to ensure the safety of Indian citizens, including around 2,000 students belonging to Kerala, in Ukraine.
The Haryana government, in the meantime, informed that a control room had been set up through the Foreign Cooperation Department, and released the contact details of the same.
The Indian embassy had issued a renewed advisory on Thursday asking Indian nationals to carry passports at all times, assuring their safe evacuation.
The crisis in Ukraine worsened after Russia announced a military operation, effectively declaring war. More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers and around 10 civilians have been killed so far, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
(With inputs from ANI.)