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FG expresses concern over Ukrainian border guards hindering exit of Nigerian nationals

From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Government, has expressed concern over reports of Ukrainian border guards hindering the exit of Nigerian nationals fleeing Ukraine as a result of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed on his Twitter handle, @GeoffreyOnyeama, that he spoke on the phone with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba.

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Onyeama said he expressed sympathy for the needless loss of life and destruction and reiterated Nigeria’s recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“I also expressed concern at the news of Ukrainian border guards hindering the exit of Nigerian citizens. He asserted that Ukrainian border guards have been instructed to allow all foreigners to leave. He promised to investigate and revert quickly.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reverted to state: “It’s official: no restrictions for foreign nationals to leave the country exist. Problem is the result of chaos on the border and check points leading to them.”

“I am personally coordinating with our missions in Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Romania and Hungary to ensure we get our citizens out of Ukraine and bring back to Nigeria, those ready to return, while supporting those who are remaining in Ukraine,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama further said the government understood how difficult things are at the border, adding that the government is reaching high authorities in those countries and the International Organization for Migration to assist Nigerians suffering at the borders.

“Our Missions have been directed to send staff and buses to the border points in their respective countries to transport our citizens,” Onyeama also said.

Earlier, the Nigerian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, told Nigerian nationals arriving from Ukraine that arrangement has been effected by the Embassy to receive them at the Romanian entry points.

In a public notice dated February 26, 2022, the mission stated that the arrangement was in addition to those already put in place by the Romanian authorities to welcome evacuated or repatriated nationals of every citizen from Ukraine.

“Affected Nigerian nationals are advised to ensure they arrive at the entry points with valid travel documents and cooperate with Romanian Immigration Officers at the border,” the Nigerian Embassy, Bucharest said.

The mission further advised that any information not contained at its official website www.nigeriaembromania.gov.ng, should be disregarded.

Also, the Nigerian Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, has informed Nigerian nationals arriving from Ukraine, that the Government of Hungary has enacted Decree 56/2022 (24.11), which permits third country nationals with valid Ukrainian resident permits to enter Hungary on a temporary basis, without a Schengen visa.

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The mission, in a public travel advisory dated February 27, 2022, said as such, Nigerians arriving at the Hungary-Ukraine border can enter Hungary, either on transit to Nigeria, or to temporarily reside in the country.

“Consequently, arrangements are underway for the transportation of Nigerians nationals, to enable them stabilize. To that effect therefore, affected Nigerian nationals wishing to be admitted into Hungary are advised to have their travel documents (valid Nigerian passport and Ukrainian resident permit) with some money in Euros, and cooperate with the Hungarian border authorities.

“Affected Nigerian nationals are advised to send their names, phone numbers, email addresses and a copy of their passport biodata page to the Embassy’s consular email: [email protected], to enable the facilitation of the aforementioned arrangements,” the Nigerian Embassy, Budapest said.

The Nigerian Mission in Budapest equally urged Nigerian nationals to disregard any information purportedly issued by the Embassy about entry into Hungary that is not conveyed via the Mission’s website.

Similarly, the Nigerian Ambassadors in Europe, have said they are united in handling the crisis.

One of the envoys, in a message sent to Daily Sun, said: “We Ambassadors in Europe are united in tackling the crisis, especially in receiving our dear citizens crossing over into neighbouring countries from Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, the United States has backed Nigeria’s position on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Recall that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Friday told the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Alexei Shebarshin, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria, Kirdoda Valerii, the Ambassadors of G7 countries and envoys of European Union that Russia should revert to status quo.

Onyeama also said Nigeria could not condone as a country, the violation of the territorial integrity of a United Nations member state, a country with which Nigeria has diplomatic relations.

Reacting to Nigeria’s position, the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, said: “It is critical that we stand united against Russia’s unprovoked and massive invasion of Ukraine and condemn it in the strongest terms. We support Nigeria’s position that Russia should stop the aggression and return its troops. We recognize the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine.”

On its part, the British High Commission, Abuja, said the United Kingdom stands with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked attack on freedom and democracy.

Also, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, stated on her Twitter handle, @CatrionaLaing1, at the weekend that the British High Commission in Abuja and the Deputy British High Commission in Lagos joined United Kingdom’s missions around the world to fly the Ukraine flag in support of Ukraine against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion.



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Posted by on Feb 27 2022. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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