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IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired the fifth high-level meeting to review progress of the ongoing evacuation of Indians from Ukraine under Operation Ganga.

The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P.K. Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and senior officials of the external affairs ministry.

During the meeting, Jaishankar and Shrigla briefed Modi about the progress of the evacuation mission and informed him that over 18,000 Indians have been brought back since the initial advisories issued by the Indian Embassy in Kyiv were put out.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the status of Indians, mostly stuck in Odessa and Sumi areas close to the Russian border and discussed the possible ways for their safe evacuation. Sumi is located close to the Russian border and a gunfight is going on there.

Modi is chairing meetings almost every day since Sunday evening to discuss the evacuation despite his election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh.

The evacuation process was ramped up soon after the four Union Ministers went to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to oversee Operation Ganga.

Meanwhile, the officials in the Indian mission in Slovakia have also identified a new checkpoint at Vysne Nemecke, which is close to the Uzhhorod in Ukraine. The Union Minister Kiren Rijiju personally visited the site to see the arrangement made there for the Indian students who have been advised to get into Slovakia instead of going to Budapest in Hungary.

Rijiju also received a group of the Indian nationals, mostly students on Thursday evening and they will depart for India during the day.

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