A group of Indian citizens living in Ukraine have been evacuated to Romania through the Suceava border crossing, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet on Friday evening.
“Our team at Suceava will now facilitate travel to Bucharest for their onward journey to India,” he added.
Earlier, the Indian embassy in Kyiv had said that more than 470 Indian students living in Ukraine will be evacuated through Romania.
Meanwhile, unidentified government officials told PTI that Air India will operate two flights to Romanian capital Bucharest on Friday to evacuate Indians.
One of the flights will depart from Delhi around 9 pm on Friday, while the other one will depart from Mumbai around 10.25 pm, the officials said. The two flights will depart from Bucharest to India on Saturday, according to PTI.
Earlier on Friday, the Indian Embassy in Ukraine had said that evacuation routes for Indian nationals were being set up through Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovakia. In an advisory issued on Friday evening, the embassy said it was sending teams to posts located along the borders of the four countries to facilitate the exit of Indians.
After Ukraine closed its airspace for civilian aircraft following an attack from Russia, India is looking to evacuate its citizens from war-struck countries through land routes. About 20,000 Indians were living in Ukraine, of which 4,000 have already left the country.
The embassy said that teams were being placed at the towns of Chop-Zahony on the Hungarian border near Uzhhorod city and at Porubne-Siret towns on the Romanian border near the city of Chernivtsi.
In Poland, the Indian Embassy said that the Polish government was allowing people to cross the border on foot only via the Shehyni-Medyka border crossing, and urged Indians travelling by taxi or buses to reach there.
Earlier, the embassy had said that earlier a team was stationed at a crossing in Krakowiec, but it is only reserved for those travelling in their own vehicles.
In Slovakia, the Indian embassy said that an exact evacuation point has not been designated yet, but teams have been stationed across the border for assistance.
Earlier today, Ukraine said that its forces were fighting with the Russian army just outside the capital city of Kyiv. On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 137 people, including civilians and military personnel, were killed on the first day of Russia’s “military operation”.
In Friday’s advisory, the Indian embassy in Ukraine urged its citizens living closest to the border help desks to depart in an organised manner after coordinating with the teams from the Ministry of External Affairs.
“Once above routes are operational, Indian nationals travelling by their own arrangements for transport would be advised to proceed to above border checkpoints,” the embassy said.
It also advised students to remain in touch with their contractors, carry passports, cash and a Covid-19 double vaccination certificate, if available. “Print out Indian flag and paste prominently on vehicles and buses while travelling,” the embassy said.
The government has said that it will bear all the transportation costs related to the evacuation of Indians from Ukraine, PTI reported, citing government sources.
Meanwhile, a public interest litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the central government to help Indians stranded in Ukraine, Live Law reported.
“The government has a responsibility to protect the life and liberty of its citizens guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution not only in its country but in foreign Countries also,” the plea said.