Amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Embassy of India in Russia has issued guidelines that the Indian students studying in the country can consider returning home though there are “no security reasons". The Embassy said that it has been receiving messages from the Indian students in universities in Russia seeking advice on their continued stay in the country.
“The Embassy would like to reassure all students that at present we see no security reasons for them to leave. The Embassy is in regular contact with relevant authorities with respect to the safety and security of the Indian nationals, including students,” the guidelines read.
Students have been concerned about the disruption of banking services in Russia and direct flight connectivity from Russia to India.
“Students are advised to exercise their discretion in consultation with their respective universities on the appropriate course of action regarding continuation of their academic activities without disruption,” the guidelines added. The embassy informed that several academic programmes are now being conducted in the online distance learning mode.
The guidelines, however, made no reference to the impact of crippling sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has been a key destination for Indians opting to study medicine abroad with over 15,000 Indian students studying in the foreign country.
In February, India had reportedly asked Moscow for support in allowing Indian citizens stranded in eastern Ukraine to cross over into Russian territory. Several Indian citizens were stranded in the eastern cities of Kharkiv, Sumy and around Odessa, which is at the heart of heavy fighting between Russian military forces and Ukrainian resistance.
The Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had then held meetings with the Russian and Ukrainian ambassadors. “(I) conveyed to them our deep concern about the security and safety of Indian citizens, particularly students based in Ukraine. I have shared the location where Indian citizens and students are concentrated to ensure their protection,” he said at a media briefing.
The US and its allies have imposed a series of sanctions on Russia since President Vladimir Putin ordered the special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. India has however refrained from condemning Russia’s actions.
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