Most Vietnamese in three big Ukrainian cities already evacuated: ambassador

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A number of Vietnamese citizens evacuated from Ukraine staying in a shelter at a Vietnamese Buddist monastery in Warsaw, Poland. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Kỳ

HÀ NỘI — Most of the Vietnamese people wishing to leave three big Ukrainian cities, namely Kyiv, Kharkov, and Odessa, have been evacuated in the face of the complicated situation there, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to the country Nguyễn Hồng Thạch.

These three cities are home to the majority of Vietnamese in Ukraine.

Việt Nam’s representative agencies in Ukraine and neighbouring countries said as of 5pm on March 6, they had received more than 2,600 Vietnamese people evacuated from war zones in Ukraine, including over 1,700 to Poland, 290 to Hungary, about 600 to Romania, and over 40 to Slovakia.

The agencies have assisted them to handle entry and transit procedures and coordinated with authorities and Vietnamese associations in the host countries to prepare transport, accommodation, and essential supplies for the evacuees.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working closely with relevant ministries, sectors, agencies, and airlines to arrange three flights repatriating the Vietnamese and their families from Romania on March 7 and March 10 (both scheduled to arrive in Hà Nội a day later) and Poland on March 9.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency, Ambassador Thạch said on the first one to two days of the fighting, many Vietnamese people in Ukraine originally didn’t intend to leave since their property and families were still there. However, after some houses suffered damage, the embassy demanded they evacuate.

The embassy has coordinated with the Vietnamese communities in the three big cities of Ukraine to carry out the evacuation and already completed the work, he noted, adding that for those in smaller cities, it has also liaised and encouraged the expatriates to move to safer places.

Only Vietnamese in Kherson, which is currently under Russian control, and Mariupol, encircled by Russian forces, haven’t been able to leave.

The embassy is exerting efforts to work with diplomatic agencies of Ukraine and Russia, as well as international organisations, to evacuate the Vietnamese people in these two cities. There are about 80 Vietnamese in Kherson and 100 others in Mariupol at present, Thạch said.

He added the embassy always keeps in touch with Vietnamese associations to grasp the situation, and that there haven’t been any reports about Vietnamese casualties in Ukraine.

According to Ambassador Nguyễn Hùng, the Vietnamese Embassy in Poland has promptly carried out citizen protection measures for those moving from Ukraine, with the highest priority given to safeguarding the lives, property, and legal and legitimate interests of Vietnamese citizens and legal entities.

It has also asked the foreign ministry, border guard authority, and committee for foreigners of Poland to facilitate Vietnamese people’s entry, transit, and temporary residency and ensure accommodation and essential supplies for them.

In Romania, the Vietnamese Embassy and community have also been exerting efforts to assist the Vietnamese people from Ukraine.

Ambassador Đặng Trần Phong said more than 800 Vietnamese moved from Ukraine to Romania as of late March 6, and the figure is likely to increase in the coming days.

Preparations for the first repatriation flight, from Romania’s capital city Bucharest to Hà Nội, have been completed. The official list has 283 people, with 15 on the waiting list in case someone on the official list doesn’t make it to the flight.

A representative from the embassy will also be present at the airport to assist with entry and exit procedures.

The embassy has been coordinating closely with Vietnamese associations to receive and arrange transport, accommodation, supplies, along with procedures for flying to the homeland for the expatriates, he added.

Phong also highly valued the solidarity and wholehearted support of the Vietnamese community in Romania, who have always stayed united and greatly helped the evacuees.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Embassy in Hungary has been working around the clock to grasp the situation and assist the Vietnamese people moving from Ukraine, Ambassador Nguyễn Thị Bích Thảo said, noting that the team for legal information has been working continuously to stay updated with information from Ukrainian and EU authorities to offer help in terms of procedures while the logistics team is responsible for preparing accommodation and essential goods for the evacuees.

The Vietnamese community in Hungary has also raised funds for the displaced citizens from Ukraine.

The embassy in Hungary received 290 Vietnamese people from Ukraine as of March 6, and about 50 others are on their way to the country, the diplomat said.

She added most of the Vietnamese fleeing to Hungary only wish to seek temporary shelter and return to Ukraine once the situation there is settled. Only a few of them want to move to another country in the EU like Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. Those wishing to come back to Việt Nam have registered to get to Poland or Romania for repatriation flights. — VNS

Earlier on Sunday, President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had a meeting with representatives from different ministries to discuss the citizen protection efforts in Ukraine.

Phúc urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant ministries and sectors to give the highest priority to protecting Vietnamese citizens in Ukraine in the context of the escalating armed conflict, stressing that the spirit of humanity and responsibility are very needed right now.

The guiding spirit of the Party, State and the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat is to protect Vietnamese people in war zones, he stated, stressing that the Party and State always pay great attention to the work.

The President applauded the Government’s plan to conduct free flights bringing Vietnamese citizens in difficult circumstances in Ukraine back home, with priority given to women, children and the elderly.

For those who stay, they must be evacuated from war zones to safe places, he said.

During the meeting, President Phúc also spoke highly of efforts made by OVs to support their countrymen in Ukraine. — VNS

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