New Delhi: India does not have any immediate plan to evacuate its citizens from Ukraine and its focus has been on ensuring their safety rather than on anything “larger”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing that India has been supportive of an immediate de-escalation of tensions and resolution of the Ukraine crisis through sustained diplomatic dialogue.

He said the Indian embassy in Kyiv has been in touch with the Indian students in Ukraine and that it continued to monitor the situation on the ground.

The embassy on Tuesday advised Indian citizens, especially the students, to temporarily leave that country in view of the “uncertainties of the current situation”.

It also asked Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Ukraine.

“Our focus is and remains on Indian citizens, Indian students, Indian nationals rather than anything larger than that and in terms of what we need to do to ensure that they are safe,” Bagchi said.

He said there are no immediate evacuation plans and that no special flights are being arranged.

Noting that there were limited number of flights between India and Ukraine under the air bubble arrangement, Bagchi said the restrictions on the number of flights and the passengers are being removed.

“Indian carriers are being encouraged to operate charter flights between India and Ukraine,” he said, adding there are flights through other routes as well.

On India’s position on the overall situation, Bagchi said it has been supportive of an immediate de-escalation of tensions and resolution of issues through sustained diplomatic dialogue.

He said India also welcomed efforts being undertaken for the implementation of the Minsk agreement.

Russia has positioned around 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine besides sending warships into the Black Sea for naval exercises, triggering concerns among the NATO countries about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has been denying that it plans to invade Ukraine.

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