527 Ghanaian nationals cross Ukraine borders to Europe – Minister

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey – Minister of Foreign Affairs

Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says at at 1700 hours on February 28, 2022, an estimated 527 Ghanaian nationals had crossed the Ukrainian border to various European countries.

Out of the number, some 49 Ghanaians, including one child were received by the Diplomatic Mission in Prague, Czech Republic, and are awaiting processing for departure to Ghana.

In Slovakia, 25 Ghanaians had arrived and were on their way to Prague to be received by Ghana’s Diplomatic mission, while in Romania, 134 Ghanaians were received by an official of the Prague Diplomatic Mission and were also awaiting relevant processes for departure to Ghana.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said 81 Ghanaians had arrived in Poland and 221 others at the border in Hungary and were enroute to the city of Budapest.

Interacting with parents of Ghanaian students stranded in Ukraine Tuesday, she said, “the Government of Ghana is ready to evacuate all the 527 of its citizens in a coordinated manner”.

Evacuation options had been limited as Ukraine closed its airspace at the start of the military operations after the Russian invasion.

That left, as with the only viable option; evacuation by land to neighbouring countries such as Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The Minister said arrangements were being made to immediately evacuate the nationals at no cost as long as they were willing to be evacuated.

“Government has put in place the necessary package to facilitate transportation, accommodation, feeding, medical support, among others, to ease any burden on our compatriots,” she said.

Some 17 students, part of an initial 220 students expected, arrived at the Kotoka International Airport Tuesday morning aboard Qatar Airlines from Romania.

Two other batches from Romania in different groups of 70 and 64, respectively, were expected to arrive later this week with 16 expected to arrive from Poland in the coming days.

Other African students, including Ghanaians, according to their Parents, were still stuck on their university campuses unable to leave as conflict intensifies and soldiers advance to cities like Kharkiv – the second largest in Ukraine.

Madam Botchwey noted that the Ministry had dispatched officials from Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions to various borders to assist Ghanaians when they crossed over into neighbouring countries.

She said according to unconfirmed information, Ghanaians in Ukraine were 1200 with 945 of them being students, registered with the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Ukraine and 29 of them on Government scholarships.

Source: GNA

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