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Dhaka Tribune

Efforts on to move Bangladeshis from Ukraine to Poland

Bangladeshis virtually connected with embassy in Poland are still safe, says Bangladesh ambassador in Poland

Update : 24 Feb 2022, 09:31 PM

In the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bangladesh is making efforts to move its citizens from that country to neighbouring Poland, the country’s ambassador in Warsaw and a senior Foreign Ministry official told Dhaka Tribune on Thursday.

“We are trying to get our people, who are willing to move, out of Ukraine to neighbouring Poland as soon as we can,” Bangladesh Ambassador to Poland Sultana Laila Hossain told this correspondent from Warsaw over the phone.

“We have asked the Polish authorities to issue visas for the Bangladeshis to enter Poland,” she said.

“Dhaka is working with Warsaw to facilitate moving our nationals from the East European country,” said a senior Foreign Ministry official.

When asked if Poland had assured an issuing of visas, Ambassador Laila Hossain said, “We are trying.”

The Bangladesh embassy in Poland, which oversees Ukrainian affairs in the absence of a mission there, would issue travel permits free of charge to those who do not have passports, she said.

“Once Bangladeshis are able to get into Poland, we will provide them shelter in Poland and we are in touch with the relevant ministries with regard to finance,” said the ambassador.

In response to a question, Laila Hossain said, “We are in touch with about 500 Bangladeshis in Ukraine virtually. All of them are still safe.”

“Our embassy is constantly in touch with the Bangladeshis, advising them on how to stay safe,” she added.

Ambassador Laila Hossain said, “Most of our people live in the capital Kiev and its surrounding areas and Kiev is under attack. It appears that different parts of Ukraine are being attacked, which is making things even more difficult.”

Shahriar Alam: Preparing to fly Bangladeshis back home

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam told reporters on Thursday afternoon that the government was preparing to fly those Bangladeshis able to travel to Poland from Ukraine back home.

Talks are underway with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism in this regard, he said.

The Bangladeshis willing to return home will have to cross into Poland under their own arrangements, he added.

Shahriar Alam said that Poland had assured Bangladesh of issuing 15-day visas to Bangladeshis.

"This has not yet started," he said.

Bangladesh deeply concerned

Bangladesh is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday night. 

"Such violence will seriously impact the peace and stability of the whole region. Therefore, we urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint, cessation of hostilities and endeavour to resolve this crisis through returning to diplomacy and dialogue," it said..

The statement said, "We have asked the Bangladesh nationals in Ukraine to move to a safer location and if necessary to Poland."

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been maintaining close coordination with the Embassy of Bangladesh in Poland. We have been extending all out support to the stranded Bangladeshis there for their immediate repatriation to Bangladesh," it said. 

"For smooth coordination of the repatriation process, the Bangladesh Embassy in Warsaw has already been strengthened with additional manpower and resources. All consular assistance is being extended free of cost," it added.

The statement went on to say, "We are also assessing the possible impacts of the crisis on the economy of the region and beyond following the deteriorating situation in the region." 

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