India on Sunday said the country’s embassy in Ukraine would be moved to Poland because of the rapidly deteriorating security situation.
The embassy had been functioning from an office in Lviv, located some 70 km from the Polish border, after Indian officials moved out of the capital Kyiv following the evacuation of a majority of Indian nationals from Ukraine last week.
“In view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, including attacks in the western parts of the country, it has been decided that the Indian Embassy in Ukraine will be temporarily relocated in Poland,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“The situation will be reassessed in the light of further developments,” the statement added.
Though attacks and shelling by Russian forces had initially focused on the eastern parts of Ukraine, there was an uptick in bombardment in the western region, where Lviv is located, over the weekend.
Some 600 Indian nationals, mostly students, were evacuated from the eastern city of Sumy last week and flown back to India. It is believed that only a small number of Indians are currently in Ukraine. Many of these nationals have opted to remain, either because they are married to Ukrainians or have businesses there.
Officials had earlier said that the functioning of the Indian embassy in Ukraine was linked to the evolving security situation. People familiar with the matter said that given the worsening security situation and the fact that most Indians had already been evacuated, the decision was made to move the Indian officials to Poland.
India has so far refrained from criticising Russia’s actions in Ukraine though it has said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states must be respected.