FG, Reps commit to evacuating Nigerians in Ukraine after travel restrictions are lifted

Having reported that Nigerians may be on their own as Russia attacks Ukraine, a statement has been release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday saying Nigerians will be evacuated as soon as the county lifts its travel restrictions.

Backstory

Russian military forces and Russian-backed separatists invaded Ukraine.

The comprehensive invasion of Ukraine has changed the mood in Kyiv, as a nation woke up today with the new reality that it is at war.

Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides, saying Russia is taking casualties in fierce fighting, but Russia’s military tells a different story.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry announced on Thursday that it has begun the procedure to cut diplomatic ties at the request of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and “in accordance with the norms established by international law.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on Ukrainians to defend their country and said arms would be given to anyone prepared to fight.

“What we have heard today are not just missile blasts, fighting and the rumble of aircraft. This is the sound of a new Iron Curtain, which has come down and is closing Russia off from the civilised world,” Zelenskiy said.

The assault by Russia brought a calamitous end to weeks of fruitless diplomatic efforts by Western leaders to avert war.

After a day of fighting, Putin told business people in Moscow he had no choice but to act, while Western leaders condemned the Russian leader and promised sweeping economic sanctions. 

Nigerians react

It’s a mixture of banter and concern that Nigerians are stranded in the country with no hope of getting out anytime soon.

On Twitter, Nigerians called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to take any side as the country does not have the capacity to engage in a war as intense as this.

Hope for Nigerians in Ukraine?

The Nigerians currently in Ukraine may not have any means to jet out, especially as the country has halted civilian flights.

The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine calls for “calm”, saying it’s doors are open for Nigerians who wish to make enquiries, adding that it stays responsible for Nigerians in the country.

On it’s own, the House of Representatives Thursday, committed to help evacuate Nigerians from the country, saying representatives will be in the country on Friday. They probably don’t realise that the Ukraine government has banned civilian flights.

Meanwhile, in a letter dated February 24, 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will begin evacuating Nigerians in Ukraine as soon as the restriction on civilian flight is cancelled.

The letter says the Ministry is in communication with the Nigerian embassy in Ukraine and has been assured that measures are taken to keep Nigerians safe and evacuate the ones who wish to be evacuated.

The letter ends with a note that the attacks have only targeted military installations.

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