Kyiv [Ukraine], March 6 (ANI): Demanding fresh rounds of sanctions against Russia, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday called on governments of several countries including India to appeal to Russia to stop the ongoing conflict.
During a televised address, Kuleba accused Russia of violating the ceasefire agreements and urged it to stop shooting to allow civilians, including foreign students, to evacuate.
"For 30 years, Ukraine was a welcoming home for thousands of students from Africa, Asia... to facilitate their (foreign students') movement, Ukraine arranged trains, set up hotlines, worked with embassies... The Ukrainian government is doing its best," he said.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister claimed that Russia's trying to "win the sympathy" of countries that have foreign nationals in Ukraine.
He said that if Russia stops "manipulating" the issue of foreign students, they will all be safely evacuated. "I call on the governments of India, China, and Nigeria, to appeal to Russia to stop the fire and allow civilians to leave," he said.
Further, Kuleba said all countries, including India, who enjoy special relations with Russia, can appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that "this war is against the interest of all."
Arguing that end of the conflict is in the best interest of all countries, he said, "India is one of the largest consumers of Ukrainian agricultural products and if this war continues, it'll be difficult for us to seed new harvests. So, even in terms of global and Indian food security, it's in the best interest to stop this war."
He further called on ordinary Indians to put pressure on Russia to demand from them to stop the war. "Ukraine is fighting only because we were attacked and we have to defend our land because Putin does not recognize our right to exist."
Kuleba claimed that humanitarian corridors and ceasefires do not exist because Russian forces violated the agreement reached in the morning to arrange humanitarian corridors. "We urge Russia to stop shooting to allow civilians, including foreign students, to evacuate."
Around 13,300 people returned to India from Ukraine so far by 63 flights under Operation Ganga, Ministery of External Affairs said on Saturday, adding that 15 flights have landed in the last 24 hours carrying around 2,900 onboard.
In a daily briefing, the MEA official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: "15 flights have landed in the last 24 hours with around 2,900 onboard. Approximately 13,300 people returned to India so far by 63 flights under Operation Ganga. 13 flights scheduled for the next 24 hours."
He noted that over 21,000 people have left Ukraine. (ANI)