India is primarily focusing on evacuating its nationals from the conflict zones of Kharkiv and Sumy in eastern Ukraine, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that around 300 Indians are stuck in Kharkiv and 700 are in Sumy.
At a media briefing, he said a local ceasefire would help in the evacuation of the Indians and that New Delhi is urging both the Russian and Ukrainian sides to find ways for their safe passage from the conflict zones.
”Our primary focus is to get Indian students out of conflict zones in eastern Ukraine,” he said. Bagchi said around 20,000 Indians have left Ukraine’s borders since India issued its first travel advisories in mid-February. He said 15 flights landed in India as part of the evacuation mission during last 24 hours, bringing back more than 3,000 nationals.
The spokesperson said 16 flights are scheduled for the next 24 hours.
Over 10,300 Indians brought back in 48 flights under ‘Operation Ganga’ so far, he added.