The Federal Government (FG) says it is impossible to evacuate Nigerian students in Ukraine until the airports in the country are reopened.
Since the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine broke out on Thursday, February 24, 2022, there have been calls on the FG to evacuate over 5000 Nigerians studying in Ukraine.
The war started shortly after Russian President, Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” in the country.
Following the order, many Ukrainian major cities including Kyiv, the country’s capital were bombed and dozens of deaths have also been recorded.
However, while countries like India and South Africa have started evacuating their nationals to neighbouring Poland, many Nigerian students are still stranded in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the National Association of Nigerian Students in Ukraine cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to their rescue.
Speaking on the situation on Friday, February 25, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said the FG is concerned with the safety of the 5600 Nigerian students in Ukraine.
“The advice we were getting is that we should not panic. The embassy was in touch with the students telling them to take reasonable precautions,” he said.
The minister said this following his separate meetings with the Ukrainian ambassador to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valerii, and his Russian counterpart, Alexei Shebarshin.
Onyema said he discussed the possibility of evacuating Nigerians from Ukraine but Shebarshin told him there might be risk involved.
The minister added that the Russian envoy told him that Russia was mindful of the civilians from foreign countries and would take all the necessary measures to ensure their security.