Ukraine war: In a televised address, Dmytro Kuleba also gave a message to “ordinary Indians” and sought their support as Kyiv continues its fight on the eleventh day after Russia launched a full-scale invasion last week.
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,” the minister said. “So, even in terms of global and Indian food security, it’s in the best interest to stop this war,” he added.
In a tweet, Ukraine’s foreign ministry has made a similar appeal: “Ukraine is one of the guarantors of global food security. 55% — share of Ukrainian sunflower oil in world exports. Mlns of people at this very moment are eating smth delicious prepared with use sunflower oil grown. Defending Ukraine also protects the world from hunger & famine. (sic),” the tweet read.
Ukraine is one of the guarantors of global food security— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) March 5, 2022
55% — share of Ukrainian sunflower oil in world exports
Mlns of people at this very moment are eating smth delicious prepared with use 🇺🇦 sunflower oil grown
Defending Ukraine also protects the world from hunger & famine pic.twitter.com/gs7iffjQ0l
The central government has sped up the evacuation process from the war-hit nation since last week when Kyiv closed its airspace for civlilan flights. More than 18,000 Indians have so far returned from Ukraine so far and special flights are being arranged to the neighbouring countries.
PM Modi has spoken to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russia’s Putin about the safety of Indians. He has also been holding high-level meetings to review the situation.
“Ordinary Indians can put pressure on the Russian Embassy in India to demand from them to stop the war. Ukraine does not need this war and is fighting only because we were attacked and we have to defend our land because Putin does not recognize our right to exist. Every country in the world can help by asking Russia to stop this war,” Kuleba said in his address.
On safety of Indian students and other foreigners in the country as Russian shelling continues for the eleventh day, the foreign minister said: “For 30 years, Ukraine was welcoming home thousands of students from Africa, from Asia. They never had problems here. They were well-integrated. Many of them stayed in Ukraine even after graduating. The Russian aggression changed it all. With Ukrainians, they now suffer from Russian bombardements, from Russian shellings and from indiscriminate firing. The best Russia can do now is to stop fire and let students leave these beseiged cities.”
“To facilitate the removal of foreigners from Kharkiv and Sumy, Ukraine arranged some trains,” he added. Kyiv has aalso set up hotlines and is working “closely with embassies to provide all necessary assistance,” he said, assuring: “Our government is doing the best it can. If Russia agrees to ceasefire, they will be safely evacuated.”
“The governments of India, China, Nigeria – whose students are locked out in Sumy and Kharkiv – I urge you to ask Moscow to stop fire and allow civilians to leave through Ukrainian territory. What I observe now is the Russian manipulation and attempts to win sympathies of these countries I mentioned by accusing Ukraine of keeping these students as hostages, of violating their rights and of discriminating against them.
“For 30 years, Ukraine was a real home for your students and it continues to be a home even under Russian fire. One country cannot change in one day.” Kuleba underlined.
Kharkiv, Sumy and the capital city of Sumy are some of the major cities affected by the aggression. An Indian student died earlier this week in Kharkiv, the second largest city of Ukraine.
The government has been putting out constant advisories for the students still stuck in Ukraine while sharing the steps being taken to bring them back home.