Govt eyes evacuating Thais from Ukraine

Govt eyes evacuating Thais from Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a destroyed armoured vehicle, which they said belongs to the Russian army, outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. (Reuters photo)
Ukrainian servicemen are seen next to a destroyed armoured vehicle, which they said belongs to the Russian army, outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. (Reuters photo)

A charter flight is ready to be sent to help evacuate Thais in Ukraine if tensions with Russia escalate further, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Thursday.

"Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is concerned for Thai nationals living there, and the Foreign Ministry has provided the PM with regular updates on the situation," Ms Rachada said, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The ministry told the PM that an evacuation plan is now in place in case of an emergency, with a charter flight ready to be sent to evacuate Thais from Ukraine, she said.

"If Ukraine closes its airspace to civilian aircraft, [other] vehicles will be arranged to take Thais across the border to Warsaw in Poland before boarding a charter flight to return to Thailand," Ms Rachada said. "The Thai embassy in Warsaw, Poland, has kept in touch with Thais in Ukraine to reassure them that immediate assistance is ready if needed."

Gen Supoj Malaniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council, said the government is concerned about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Thailand has urged both sides to resolve the conflict through dialogue, he said.

Gen Supoj said the embassy in Warsaw, which looks after about 250 Thais in Ukraine, will be responsible for carrying out an evacuation if the situation worsens.

Air Vice Marshal Prapas Sornchaidee, spokesman for the Royal Thai Air Force, said the air force chief has instructed that transport aircraft be prepared to help evacuate Thais on the government's command.

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