The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, says the Government is working with relevant stakeholders to ensure the safety of Ghanaians in Ukraine following a “military operation” by Russia.
A statement issued by the Ministry on Thursday said: “Our Diplomatic Mission in Berne, and our Honorary Consulate are directly engaged with the relevant authorities in Ukraine in an effort to secure the safety and protection of Ghanaian citizens there during this difficult period.”
It urged all Ghanaian nationals in Ukraine to limit their movements in public places and remain at home or move to government places of shelter.
The statement said the government was concerned over the deteriorating military situation in the country, which had direct impact on the safety and security of Ghanaians, including over 1,000 students in Ukraine.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration wishes to assure the public of its concern, and particularly, our compatriots in Ukraine that all efforts are being made to ensure their safety and security,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, Parliament and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) have urged government to consider evacuating Ghanaians from Ukraine.
Also, the President of National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) in Ternopil City, Richard Ofori, said Ghanaian students in the region, numbering about 250, were expected to be safely evacuated by Tuesday.
He said, “Buses have been booked for tomorrow (Saturday) and Tuesday to transport students to Poland, about 200 to 250 Ghanaian students. We had to make the decision ourselves.”
However, Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso, an International Relations Expert and Security Analyst, had advised that it was unsafe to evacuate Ghanaians at the moment because the airspace was currently porous.
In a media engagement, he asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work out a contingency plan and find alternative evacuation routes for the thousands of Ghanaians, including students in Ukraine.
He noted that it was important for the Ministry to collate data on all Ghanaians and where they resided in Ukraine to begin such evacuation processes when the time was appropriate.
Russia launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine on Thursday, hitting cities and bases with air strikes or shelling as civilians crammed into trains and cars to flee.
The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kouleba, following the attack, said the operation was aimed at “destroying the Ukrainian state, seizing its territory by force and establishing an occupation.”