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PM Modi calls Putin, seeks safe passage for Indian students

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Russia has said its military was doing everything possible to ensure the safe evacuation of Indian students from the war zone and their return to homeland. The assurance came from Russian President Valdimir Putin during a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening. 

A statement from the Kremlin said its military would escort the students to safe zones from where they could be sent to India either by the Russian Air Force transporters or by Indian Air Force C-17 planes. “Russian armed forces are ready to take all necessary measures for the safe evacuation of the Indian citizens,” reiterated the  statement.

Recently, an Indian student was killed in apparent Russian shelling in Kharkiv while students trapped in the fighting in cities close to the Russian border in eastern Ukraine have made desperate pleas for help and suggested that Moscow facilitate their evacuation.

While assuring that a mechanism was in place for issuing emergency certificates for those who have lost their passports, the MEA spokesperson appealed to Indians to first contact the Indian coordinating teams rather than try to directly cross Ukraine’s borders with Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Moldova. The Indian embassy in Warsaw asked Indians to avoid the Shehyni-Medyka border and approach the Budomierz checkpoint for a relatively quick entry into Poland.

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