An advisory by the Indian embassy Kyiv also advised Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.
The Russian military build-up and repeated warnings by the US of an invasion by Moscow that, according to the US authorities, could take place any moment has seen some airlines restrict flights to and from Ukraine. India authorities believe students and other Indian nationals who don’t need to stay back should leave before flight services are further disrupted. US intelligence sources have also been quoted as saying that Russia will launch its invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday. India, however, is not considering pulling out its diplomats and other staff members for now.
“In view of the uncertainties of the current situation in Ukraine, Indian nationals in Ukraine, particularly students whose stay is not essential, may consider leaving temporarily,” said the advisory.
As the government had said at the Security Council earlier, while calling for constructive dialogue to defuse the crisis, more than 20,000 Indian students and nationals live and study in different parts of Ukraine, including in its border areas.
“Indian nationals are requested to keep the embassy informed about the status of their presence in Ukraine to enable the embassy to reach them where required. The embassy continues to function normally to provide all services to Indian nationals in Ukraine,” it added, while announcing helpline numbers for Indian nationals. Ukraine ambassador to India Igor Polikha was quoted as having told a news channel though that there was no reason for Indian students to panic and leave the country when diplomatic talks were still on to resolve the crisis.
While President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia doesn’t want war, concerns remain about its military build-up that has seen Moscow station 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine. India has called for quiet and constructive diplomacy to resolve the situation while refraining from taking sides.
The US decision to shut down its embassy in Kyiv and relocate staffers has added to the panic even as Russia claims that possibilities from dialogue are far from exhausted.