Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 28 (ANI): Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday said that the evacuation of stranded citizens of India from Ukraine is the major priority of the government amid the ongoing tensions due to Russia's military operation in the Eastern European country, and hoped that the Central Government gives this "challenge" the "priority it deserves".

Speaking to the reporters here, Tharoor said, "The evacuation of our citizens is a major priority. Some countries started that process earlier. But we have a rather large number of citizens, about 20,000 citizens, mainly medical students who are scattered throughout Ukraine. We should definitely take urgent action to expedite their freedom and bring them back home."

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"Some, however, are stuck in the interior, some are living in basements without food and water and some are closer to the Russian side. So we have a major challenge. I hope the government gives this challenge the priority it deserves," the Congress MP added.

Asked about the role of the United Nations in easing out the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Tharoor said that the UN can be effective when all members come together, not when a permanent member uses a Veto power.

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"United Nations(UN) is a platform&an actor also. In terms of being a platform UN can be effective when member states come together with an agreement but not against a permanent member with veto power," he said.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia will be overseeing evacuation operations of stranded Indians in Romania and Moldova, while Minister of Law Kiren Rijiju will be visiting Slovakia.

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri will be overlooking operations in Hungary, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport Gen (Retd) VK Singh will manage evacuations in Poland.

Earlier today, as the sixth evacuation flight from Hungary's capital Budapest carrying 240 Indian nationals who were stranded in Ukraine landed at the Delhi airport on Monday, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi welcomed them and said the Indian government is working round the clock to bring back every Indian in this hour of crisis. (ANI)

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