JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Eighty Indonesians and three foreign family members evacuated from Ukraine arrived in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta Thursday amid the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
They departed from Bucharest in Romania and landed in Indonesia after traveling for 17 hours.
“Welcome home and have a nice get-together with your family,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said during a press conference at the airport on March 3.
The evacuation took place amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conflict shows no sign of abating after the first attack eight days ago. The Foreign Affairs Ministry recorded a total of 153 Indonesians in Ukraine.
Also read: UN: More Than Half A Million Have Fled Ukraine
Retno said the evacuation process was uneasy as the Indonesian nationals had to go through several security checks and follow the curfews in Ukraine. Currently, 14 other Indonesians are still in Bucharest. Of this number, 12 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while two other people decided to stay in Bucharest to accompany their child who contracted the virus.
“They are all monitored and under the protection of the Indonesian embassy in Bucharest. Once their health status gets better, they will be repatriated by commercial flights,” she said.
4 Indonesians fleeing Kharkiv
The minister said that four Indonesian citizens in Kharkiv have fled Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. They are now in Lviv in Poland after being evacuated by the Indonesian embassy officials in Warsaw. Besides the four people, another evacuee also met the Indonesian officials in Lviv.
“They will be taken to the Rzeszow safe house in Poland to undergo health checks, including PCR tests,” she said.
Once the process is done, they will be taken to Warsaw and repatriated to Indonesia. Besides, the government continues to evacuate nine Indonesians from Chernihiv.
Also read: Indonesia Continues to Evacuate its Citizens from Ukraine
The importance of dialogue
Kompas daily reported that Retno said Indonesia takes no side regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She said that Indonesia will always put its national interest priority, follow the constitution and the principles of international law.
“This includes the UN Charter and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a region. This message is conveyed to all parties,” she said.
She also said that the mandate of the constitution is to maintain world peace, not war. Therefore, Indonesia calls to stop the war, seek a peaceful settlement, and ease tensions.
“Besides, Indonesia also urges the importance of continuing dialogue and prioritizing humanity through the provision of humanitarian aid without obstacles and safe passage,” he said.
(Writer: Tsarina Maharani | Editor: Egidius Patnistik)
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