March 16, 2022
NEW DELHI – Pointing out that the ongoing Russian military offensive in Ukraine has major economic implications, India today reiterated that there was no other choice but the path of diplomacy and dialogue for the two warring nations.
The impact of the conflict on energy and commodity prices was already visible and the disruption of the global supply chain was expected to be significant, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the situation in Ukraine.
India, he said, has substantial dealings with both Russia and Ukraine and an assessment of the fallout of the war was underway. The war has highlighted how important the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” objective was.
On “Operation Ganga” launched by the government to evacuate stranded Indians from Ukraine, Jaishankar said the entire exercise involved a “whole of the government” approach with Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself chairing review meetings almost on a daily basis.
The strategy for evacuation was to take out Indian nationals from western neighbouring countries of Ukraine: Poland, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, he said.
The minister said that under “Operation Ganga”, 90 flights have been operated, out of which 76 were civilian flights and 14 of the IAF. The evacuation flights were from Romania, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.
In addition to evacuating Indian nationals, foreign nationals were also taken out of the conflict zone and brought to India in line with the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. These 150 foreign nationals were from 18 countries, including Bangladesh and Nepal. India also provided free passage of Ukrainian nationals from India to Poland in the evacuation flights.
Jaishankar said that in response to the emerging humanitarian situation, India has provided relief supplies to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries of Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Moldova. A total of 90 tonnes of relief material, comprising medicines, tents, blankets, sleeping mats, Tarpaulin, surgical gloves and protective eye goggles have been provided.