FG moves to rescue Nigerian students still trapped in Ukraine

The Federal Government has concluded plans to rescue Nigerian students trapped in Sumy, in the north eastern part of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a  new batch of 306 Nigerians returned home from war-ravaged Ukraine yesterday.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, stated that they arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 00:30 a.m. aboard Air Peace Boeing 777-300 Flight APK7534.through Budapest, Hungary.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made contact in the the Ukraine north east city of Sumy on quick evacuation of Nigeria students stuck in the region.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama on his Twitter handle said that he has spoken to Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitro Kuleba over the possibility of the evacuation of Nigerian students.

Similar telephone conversation was made between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the President of Nigerian Students Union, Fehintola Damilola Moses.

READ ALSO: Russia, Ukraine to negotiate ceasefire on Monday

Meanwhile the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine is said to be following up for the successful evacuation of the students.

The arrivals increased the number of Nigerians evacuated by the Federal Government to 1,112 as 807 others had earlier been evacuated in three batches as at Saturday.

NiDCOM stated also that the returnees were excited to be home after the uncertainty of fleeing from the war.

They applauded the speedy response of the Federal Government to their plight, NiDCOM added.

Reports say many Nigerians and other nationals have fled Ukraine into nearby countries since Russia launched a full-scale war on its neighbour on Feb. 24.

The Nigerian government approved the release of 8.5 million dollars on Wednesday for the immediate evacuation of at least 5,000 Nigerians fleeing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict zone to Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.

NiDCOM has been at the forefront of the evacuation.

US, Europe weigh plans for Ukrainian government in exile

US and European officials have been discussing how the West would support a government-in-exile helmed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should he have to flee Kyiv, western officials tell CNN.

The discussions have ranged from supporting Zelensky and top Ukrainian officials in a potential move to Lviv in western Ukraine, to the possibility that Zelensky and his aides are forced to flee Ukraine altogether and establish a new government in Poland, the officials said.

The discussions are only preliminary and no decisions have been made, the sources said.

Western officials have also been wary of discussing a government-in-exile directly with Zelensky, because he wants to stay in Kyiv, and has so far rejected conversations that focus on anything other than boosting Ukraine in its fight against Russia, two western diplomats explained. They added that there have been discussions about sending one or more members of Zelensky’s government to an external location where a government could be set up in case Kyiv falls and Zelensky is unwilling or unable to get out.

“The Ukrainians have plans in place that I’m not going to talk about or get into any detail about to make sure that there is continuity of government one way or another, and I’m going to leave it at that,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS on Sunday.

US and European officials believed in the earlier days of the war that Zelensky moving to Lviv might be feasible because it was not clear whether Russia would target western Ukraine. But now—given Russia’s dramatic escalation over the last several days against civilian targets across Ukraine—they are not as sure that Russia will spare any inch of Ukrainian territory


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