New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin tonight amid the crisis in Ukraine, sources have said. Russian military operations started against Ukraine this morning and the former Soviet republic has asked for India’s intervention.
Currently, the Prime Minister is hosting a meeting of his top ministers at his official residence to discuss the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and ways to mitigate the impact of rising crude oil prices.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh have already reached his residence. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other officials will also attend the meeting.
Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation.
Meanwhile, Ms Sitharaman too said she will be meeting PM Modi to discuss the situation arising out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Asked whether there will be a meeting with the PM on the Russia-Ukraine issue, she said, “definitely”.
Markets have been rattled by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The 30-share benchmark Sensex crashed over 2,700 points today in line with global meltdown amid the Ukraine invasion by Russia.
Earlier, the Indian embassy in Ukraine said that special flights arranged to head to Kyiv to pick up Indian nationals were cancelled as the country’s airspace was closed.
India is now looking for alternative routes to evacuate its citizens form Ukraine after an Air India flight turned back or Delhi due to the closed Ukrainian airspace.
Meanwhile, high-level meetings are being held at the Ministry of External Affairs to work out contingency plans and find alternate evacuation routes, said sources.
More Russian-speaking officials have been sent to India’s embassy in Ukraine and are being deployed in countries neighbouring Ukraine, sources in the MEA said.
The Indian embassy has also issued a set of guidelines to students and others who live in the country. Kyiv was among the cities targeted by Russia.
The Indian embassy warned that citizens “traveling to Kyiv, including those traveling from western parts of Kyiv, are advised to return to their respective cities temporarily, especially towards safer places along the western bordering countries.”
(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)