Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday, February 27, and asserted that ensuring the safety of Indian students and evacuating them is the government’s top priority, official sources told PTI.It was also decided at the meeting to further enhance cooperation with the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to expedite the evacuation of Indian students, they said.External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was part of the meeting, which was also attended by top government officials, including National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.The meeting lasted for over two hours, the sources said.Modi presided over the meeting immediately upon his return from Uttar Pradesh, where he addressed public meetings as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for the state Assembly polls.A large number of Indians, mostly students, are stranded in Ukraine following Russia’s attack on the country.India has begun evacuating them and over 900 people have been brought back since Saturday.Modi has also spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, with India calling for dialogue to defuse the crisis.On Thursday, Modi chaired a Cabinet Committee on Security meeting in Delhi wherein he said that the top-most priority of the government is safety and security of the Indian nationals.Earlier on Sunday, foreign secretary Shringla said, “The Government of India has launched ‘multi-pronged’ Operation Ganga to evacuate our citizens stranded in Ukraine.This evacuation process will be at government cost.”The government has advised Indian nationals to move westward to reach Uzhhorod in western Ukraine, at the border with Slovakia and near the border with Hungary and from there they can take a train to reach the Romanian capital Bucharest and from there, they will be airlifted.Earlier, External Affairs minister Jaishankar spoke to his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Hungary and expressed gratitude for providing support so far in evacuating Indians from the Hungarian-Ukrainian border.Jaishankar also dialled his Moldovan counterpart Nicu Popescu to seek support for facilitating entry of Indian nationals on Ukraine-Moldova border.Poland, Romania and Hungary are allowing Indian students who want to leave from Ukraine to enter without any visa.Read: Indian students stranded at Ukraine-Poland border in -4°C with dwindling suppliesWith PTI and IANS inputs

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