December 27, 2023
KATHMANDU – Foreign Minister NP Saud has said the government has received complaints that around 100 Nepalis serving in the Russian army are missing and injured while battling Ukrainian forces.
In an interview with the state-owned National News Agency, Foreign Minister Saud also said that around 200 Nepalis are estimated to be serving in the Russian army.
Foreign Minister Saud said the government raised its concerns with the Russian government over Nepali nationals serving in the army.
“The Russian government passed on the information that some Nepali citizens have joined the Russian army and seven of them have been killed. Apart from this, the ministry has received complaints that around 100 people are missing and injured. The ministry was informed by their families and friends,” said Saud.
“The government summoned the Russian ambassador in Nepal to the ministry and requested the envoy to convey our concerns to the Russian government.”
Foreign Minister Saud said the exact number of Nepalis serving in the Russian army is yet to be ascertained.
“It is estimated that about 200 Nepali youths who went to Russia for work, study and visit have joined the army. The number should be much higher as the ministry has received complaints that around 100 are missing and injured,” he said.
Saud said the government has made it mandatory to obtain a no-objection certificate for travel to Russia from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and six Gulf countries.
Foreign Minister Saud further said the government is making efforts to secure the release of Nepalis currently under captivity by Ukrainian forces.
“We are in contact with the Ukrainian government and our ambassador is negotiating for their release. The government is also in close contact with the Ukrainian Embassy in New Delhi. We have requested the International Red Cross to facilitate the immediate release of four Nepalis under captivity. I believe the efforts will bear fruits soon.”
Similarly, Saud said that the government is also taking initiatives for the release of Bipin Joshi, a Nepali student held hostage by Hamas. Joshi’s whereabouts is unknown following the October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group.