The Union government has removed the restrictions on the number of flights between India and Ukraine amid tensions between the latter country and Russia, NDTV reported.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has said that any number of flights and chartered aircraft can now operate between India and Ukraine. “Indian airlines have been informed to mount the flights due to increase in demand,” the ministry said. “MoCA is facilitating in coordination with MEA [Ministry of External Affairs].”

Since early this year, Russia has amassed over 1 lakh troops at the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an imminent invasion. The two countries have been engaged in a conflict since 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and backed separatist rebellions in the country’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the government’s focus was on the safety of Indian citizens and that there were no immediate plans to evacuate them, PTI reported.

At a press briefing, the ministry’s spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Indian embassy in Kyiv was monitoring the situation and was in touch with students living in Ukraine. Bagchi said India has consistently supported dialogue to resolve the Ukraine crisis and deescalate tensions.

On Wednesday, the Indian embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev said that more flights are planned in the near future on account of the rising demand, PTI reported.

“The embassy of India has been receiving several appeals about non-availability of flights from Ukraine to India,” it said. “In this regard, students are advised not to resort to panic, but book the earliest available and convenient flights to travel to India.”

The embassy added that at present, Ukrainian International Airlines, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and Qatar Airways are operating flights from Ukraine.

On February 15, the Indian embassy in Kiev advised Indian nationals to leave Ukraine temporarily if their stay there was not essential. “Indian nationals are also advised to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine,” the embassy had said.

It also released two contact numbers for emergency situations – +380-997300483 and +380-997300428.

On Wednesday, reports said that Russia was pulling back some of its troops from the Ukraine border, in what was seen as a sign of de-escalation. However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States claimed that Moscow was continuing to send troops to the border.

“So far we have not seen any de-escalation on the ground,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, according to The Guardian. “On the contrary, it appears that Russia continues the military buildup. What we see is that they have increased the number of troops and more troops are on their way and so, so far, no de-escalation.”