Saturday 20th Jul 2024
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

12 Maldivian Students Remain Stranded In Ukraine

12 Maldivian nationals stranded in Ukraine as the country faces a Russian military invasion, said the Maldivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide information on the Ministry's efforts to evacuate Maldivian nationals from Ukraine following the Russian invasion, the Ministrys Deputy Minister Abdullah Humaidh said that the Ministry and the Maldivian Embassy in Germany had been "keeping close watch" on the Maldivian nationals once relations between Ukraine and Russia soured. He said that they were well-informed on their well-being.
He said that once Russia had warned of an imminent attack, a travel advisory against Maldivian nationals from traveling to Ukraine had been issued, and Maldivian nationals residing in the country had been asked to register themselves.
He said that based on the information gathered at the time, 50 Maldivian nationals had been residing in Ukraine as students.
Noting the efforts to evacuate the Maldivian nationals to safety, he mentioned that 15 students who had been residing in Ivano-Frankivsk had been safely transported to Hungary, and that they would be arriving in Male City today.
He said that 12 Maldivian nationals were currently stranded in Ukraine, and that efforts were being made to evacuate them to Hungary. However, based on current circumstances, traveling was not deemed to be a safe option.
Humaidh pointed out that the students had the opportunity to return to the Maldives before the situation had grown so bad that Ukraine's airspace was closed. He said, however, they were unable to return due to "several reasons". One of the reasons had been that the universities in which the students were studying had not fully adopted online education, and that their return to the Maldives would have a "negative effect" on their studies.
He said that prior to the closing down of Ukraine's airspace, the government had arranged for one-way tickets back to the Maldives to be granted to the Maldivian nationals in Ukraine. 4 students who had been residing in Kharkiv, near the Russian border, traveled to the Maldives on 18 February. 25 students traveled on 23 February. 5 students remained due to complications with their visas, but the Russians attacked the following day and Ukraine's airspace closed down, preventing their return.