The Federal Government has announced that free visa arrangements are in place for Nigerians arriving from Ukraine through the borders in Romania and Hungary.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gabriel Adudar, who made this known in a statement yesterday said due to the challenges faced by Nigerians crossing into countries bordering Ukraine, especially the Polish border, the government has arranged accommodation and feeding pending evacuation.
The statement read, “The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken with his counterpart, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine on this unsavoury development and both are working on alleviating the suffering of Nigerians including deploying the International Organisation for Migration to the border to ensure easier access to all Nigerians and other nationals.
For now, movement to the Hungarian Zahony border and Romanian Suceava, Tulcea, Satu Mare County & Maramures borders is advised, as they have approved visa-free access to all Nigerians coming from Ukraine and arrangements for accommodation and feeding before evacuation is arranged.
“Parents, guardians, and wards of Nigerians in Ukraine are please enjoined to remain calm as the Federal Government of Nigeria is working very hard to get them all home safely.
“Similarly, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Budapest, Hungary in a Public Travel Advisory said, it wishes to inform Nigerian nationals arriving from Ukraine, that the Government of Hungary has enacted Decree 56/2022 (24.11), which permits third-country nationals with valid Ukrainian resident permits to enter Hungary on a temporary basis, without a Schengen visa.
As such, Nigerians arriving at the Hungary-Ukraine border can enter Hungary, either on transit to Nigeria, or to temporarily reside in the country.”
It further stated that arrangements are underway for the transportation of Nigerians nationals, to enable them stabilise.
“To that effect, therefore, affected Nigerian nationals wishing to be admitted into Hungary are advised to have their travel documents (valid Nigerian passport and Ukrainian resident permit) with some money in Euros, and cooperate with the Hungarian border authorities.
“Affected Nigerian nationals are advised to send their names, phone numbers, email addresses, and a copy of their passport biodata page to the Embassy’s consular email: secretary@nigerianembassy,hu, to enable the facilitation of the aforementioned arrangements.
“For information and guidance on consular assistance, please contact the following persons, who would be on ground to coordinate: I. Mr. Stanley OPARA (Consular Officer) +36308202903 Il. Mr. Ayotunde Adigun (Immigration Attache)+36308639203 4.
Finally, further necessary updates will be regularly communicated through the official website of the Embassy (www.nigerianembassy.hu). Please disregard any information purportedly issued by the Embassy about entry into Hungary, that is not conveyed via Mission’s website, the statement said .
Kyiv holds talks without pre-conditions
Putin puts Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert as Kyiv agrees to negotiations at the Ukraine-Belarus border.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Kyiv will send a delegation of officials for talks “without preconditions” with Moscow at the Ukraine-Belarus border.
The EU has approved the closure of its airspace to Russian aircraft as well as further sanctions, including the exclusion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT payment system.
Russian President Vladimir Putin puts Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.
Kharkiv governor says Ukrainian troops have full control of the country’s second-largest city after street fighting with Russian forces.
Kyiv’s mayor says the city is encircled, making evacuations impossible.
More than 360,000 people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s assault, the UN says.
Here are all the latest updates:
UN Security Council convenes rare emergency meeting
The UN Security Council has voted to hold a rare emergency meeting of the General Assembly on today.
France is expected to sponsor a resolution at the UN security council calling for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and a guarantee that humanitarian aid can be delivered to civilians, the presidency announced.
Russia, which blocked a council resolution condemning Moscow’s “aggression” in Ukraine on Friday, is expected to use its veto power.
Ukraine files genocide case against Russia at UN’s top
Ukraine has launched a case against Russia at the United Nations’ highest court, accusing Moscow of planning genocide and asking for the court to order Russia to halt its invasion and pay reparations.
The case asks the International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, to indicate “provisional measures” ordering Moscow to “immediately suspend the military operations.”
EU approves closure of airspace, further sanctions
EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell has said the bloc has approved crippling sanctions to Russian financial markets, including the exclusion of some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system.
“We are going after the wealth of Putin’s elite,” Borrell told a news conference in Brussels after a virtual meeting of foreign ministers on the crisis.
The EU has also approved the closure of its airspace to Russian aircraft and unblocked 450 millions euros ($500 million) for members states to buy arms for Ukraine.
“We are afraid that Russia is not going to stop in Ukraine, and the Russian influence can start working in the neighbouring countries,” Borrell said.
BP quits Russia in up to $25 billion hit
BP is abandoning its 19.75 percent stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft, which accounts for around half of BP’s oil and gas reserves and a third of its production.
Divesting the stake will result in charges of up to $25 billion, the British oil and gas giant said, without saying how it plans to extricate itself.
Rosneft condemned BP’s decision, saying 30 years of successful cooperation had been ruined, Russian news agencies reported.
Sweden to send arms to Ukraine
Sweden has announced it will send military equipment and other aid to Ukraine.
Announcing the move, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said it would be the first time Sweden had sent weapons to a country in conflict since the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939.
She said the shipments would include 5,000 single-use anti-tank launchers, 5,000 pieces of body armour, and 5,000 helmets as well as 135,000 ration packs.
My conclusion is now that our security is best served by us supporting Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russia,” Andersson said.
It comes after the European Union announced it would buy weapons and deliver them to Ukraine, the first time in its history it has taken such a step.
Europe facing humanitarian crisis of historical proportions – EU
The EU has warned that Europe is facing a major humanitarian crisis, and the number of people internally displaced by Russia’s invasion could be higher than seven million.
We are witnessing what could become the largest humanitarian crisis on our European continent in many, many years,” Janez Lenarcic, commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, told a news conference.
“Currently, the expected number of displaced Ukrainians is over seven million people,” he said, citing UN estimates.
He said around 18 million Ukrainians are expected to be affected by the conflict in humanitarian terms, and about four million to flee the country.
“Even though these are very rough estimates, the figures are huge, and we have to prepare for this kind of emergency, which is of historical proportions,” he added.
Putin toys with nuclear warhead
President Vladimir Putin’s an nouncement that he is putting Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert has been condemned in the strongest terms by the United States.
Pentagon officials say it is an unnecessary step and a dangerous escalation that raises the stakes of a miscalculation.
They are still assessing how President Putin’s order will be implemented and declined to say whether the stance of America’s own nuclear arsenal, the world’s largest, has been changed in response.
The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki said the move followed President Putin’s pattern of “manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.”
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas Greenfield, said efforts at the UN would be ramped up to hold President Putin accountable for continuing to escalate the war in a manner that is totally unacceptable.
World’s largest plane reportedly destroyed
The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials, generating alarm and sadness among the aviation world in which it occupies almost cult status.
The enormous aircraft, named “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by “Russian occupants,” Ukrainian authorities said, adding that they would rebuild the plane.
“Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!” wrote Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter.
There has been no independent confirmation of the aircraft’s destruction. A tweet from the Antonov Company said it could not verify the “technical condition” of the aircraft until it had been inspected by experts.