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At least 9 Singaporeans still in Ukraine; MFA exploring options for them to leave ‘if the situation permits’

SINGAPORE — At least nine Singaporeans are now in Ukraine and spread out across several cities, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 28).

At least 9 Singaporeans still in Ukraine; MFA exploring options for them to leave ‘if the situation permits’

Ukrainian refugees arriving from their homeland at Zahonyi railway station close to the Hungarian-Ukrainian border on Feb 27, 2022.

SINGAPORE — At least nine Singaporeans are now in Ukraine and spread out across several cities, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament on Monday (Feb 28).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is in touch with eight of them and is “aware” of at least one other Singaporean whom it has been trying to contact.

“Singaporeans' safety remains our priority concern and MFA has been in contact with them and we will assist them whenever, and however, possible,” Dr Balakrishnan said in a ministerial statement on the situation in Ukraine.

“We are also exploring options for them to leave the country if the situation permits.”

In the meantime, he urged Singaporeans in Ukraine to seek shelter, be vigilant and heed the advice from the authorities. Those who have not registered with MFA should immediately do so, he added.

Dr Balakrishnan noted that in the lead-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, MFA had issued two travel advisories advising Singaporeans in Ukraine to leave “as soon as possible by commercial means while it was still possible to do so”. The first was on Jan 26 and the second on Feb 13.

Following the first travel advisory, seven Singaporeans left Ukraine by commercial options before the conflict erupted, Dr Balakrishnan added.

Another three made their way across the border into Poland since the start of the Russian invasion last week.

In response to a question from Member of Parliament Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (Chua Chu Kang) on what the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Singapore can do to alleviate the situation in Ukraine, Dr Balakrishnan said that out of the three Singaporeans who made their way across the border, at least one  did so in a convoy together with Malaysians who were crossing the border into Poland.

“I thank my counterpart in Malaysia for doing so. So similarly on the ground, I’m sure we will continue to work with each other, look out for citizens of Asean and where possible, tumpang (Malay for hitching a ride), gotong royong (Malay for mutual assistance) and help one another,” he added. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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Ukraine Russia Vivian Balakrishnan MFA travel ASEAN

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