Tue | Sep 27, 2022

Jamaican students in Ukraine encouraged to make evacuation plans

Published:Saturday | February 5, 2022 | 10:29 AM
Johnson Smith: “The indications from the Embassy are that, while reports had been reflecting calm, some students have this week expressed unease with the situation and, in that context, as we have previously advised, they have been encouraged to make preparations in the event that they decide to leave the country on short notice." -File photo.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry says it has advised the 42 Jamaican students studying in Ukraine to make preparations that would ensure their safe departure from the Eastern European country in the event that they have to leave.

Reports from international media have indicated renewed tension between Russia and Ukraine with talks that the Eastern European and Northern Asian country is planning military action against Ukraine.

On Friday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith said she had directed the Jamaican Embassy in Berlin, which is responsible for overseeing relations with Ukraine, to undertake a welfare check on nationals.

The students are pursuing tertiary studies in the cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk.

“The indications from the Embassy are that, while reports had been reflecting calm, some students have this week expressed unease with the situation and, in that context, as we have previously advised, they have been encouraged to make preparations in the event that they decide to leave the country on short notice,” Johnson Smith said.

She said students' preparation must include checking the availability of flights and ensuring that they have valid visas for the UK, Schengen countries and/or the US to facilitate transit arrangements, should they become necessary.

“Students should also enquire of their universities whether any arrangements are being contemplated for emergencies, including postponement or facilitation of remote sitting of exams,” she said.

Johnson Smith said that 12 nationals are in Russia and none is affected by the tensions reported in the international media.

She said nationals are to advise the Embassy of any emergency developments and of their decisions whether or not to leave, should the situation in their locations deteriorate.

The minister said the mission in Berlin will continue to monitor the situation.

Soured relations between Russia and Ukraine stem from as far back as 2014 with Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The United States and the United Kingdom have promised further sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

Russia has, however, denied this despite reports that it has placed an estimated 100,000 troops, tanks, artillery and missiles near Ukraine's frontiers.

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