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About 20-odd Indians stuck in Russia, efforts on for their early release: MEA

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Shillong, February 29: At least 20 Indians, who had gone as support staff to work with the Russian Army, are stuck in that country and efforts are on to seek their early release, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday, reiterating that New Delhi is “deeply committed” to the welfare of all its nationals.

The remarks came in the backdrop of reports that a group of Indian youth fell victim to agents who deceitfully sent them to Russia under the false pretext of providing them with security guard jobs.

“It is our understanding that there are 20-odd people who have gone to work as support staff or as helpers with the Russian Army. These are the people who’ve contacted us… We are trying our level best to ensure their early discharge,” MEA spokesman Randhir Jaiswal said while addressing the weekly media briefing on Thursday.

The spokesperson also referred to the statements issued by the MEA that urged all Indian nationals in Russia to exercise due caution and stay away from the conflict (with Ukraine).

“We are trying our best… We are in regular touch with the Russian authorities — both here in New Delhi and in Moscow. We are deeply-committed to the welfare of all Indians,” Jaiswal told reporters.

The ministry had issued a statement on February 26, which said that several Indian nationals have already been discharged and that India remains “committed to pursuing all the relevant cases of its citizens for an early discharge from the Russian Army”.

The statement also noted that there were “inaccurate reports” in the media regarding Indians with the Russian Army seeking help for discharge.

On being asked about India’s position on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, Jaiswal reiterated that both sides should come together and find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“Our position is very well known. We’ve said this at the highest levels that India desires that there be discussion, that there be diplomacy, that there be constant engagement so that both sides can come together and find a solution for peace,” he said. (IANS)

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