Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

Government says it has appealed to five neighbouring countries to Ukraine to facilitate the evacuation of Ghanaian nationals.

This was disclosed by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey during a press briefing in Accra on Sunday, February 27, 2022.

The five countries she said are; Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

“Fortunately, the Government of Moldova has officially indicated it willingness to facilitate the passage of Foreign Nationals based on a structured exercise,” she noted.

She said the evacuation by land to neighbouring countries has become necessary due to the closure of Ukraine’s airspace.

The Minister also revealed that through diplomatic efforts, Ghana has secured passage through Hungary, on a visa-free basis for Ghanaian students who are in possession of Ghanaian passports.

“We are told the Hungarian government is also providing coordinated assistance to enable our nationals reach airports in Budapest or Debrecen. The Government of Ghana is grateful to the Hungarian Government,” she said.

Meanwhile, over 220 Ghanaians in Ukraine have safely exited the country as of midday on Sunday, February 27.

Addressing the nation on Sunday, the Minister announced that government has instituted the necessary measures to facilitate the transportation, accommodation, feeding, medical support and flights for the evacuated citizens.

“We hope for better days as the Ministry further engages our diplomatic Missions and Honorary Consulates to extend consular assistance to our compatriots. We are earnestly facilitating the safe return of a lot more.”

“These numbers are bound to increase in a few days as we observe a team spirit being displayed by our people, our citizens and our students. They are reaching out to one other, setting up groups, WhatsApp chats, sharing important phone numbers of Consular officers and other personalities who could be of assistance,” she said.

She also mentioned that over 460 students are already in transit to neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

“The students will be received by officials of our diplomatic missions, Honorary Consuls and officials of the student unions or associations.”

Breakdown of figures

According to the Minister, 24 persons have arrived in Bucharest, Romania. The officer on the ground is procuring tickets for them to leave tomorrow en route to Accra.

She said 48 are being processed at the holding area and another 60 going through border formalities to get to Romania.

“38 having crossed into Poland are with our officials. We are currently also making arrangements for those who are willing to be assisted to get on flights. 25 persons en route to Prague from Slovakia were assisted by the Honorary Consul and will be received on entry by the Mission in Prague.”

“25 just this morning arrived in Hungary and are being sheltered at the Pentecostal church in Budapest. 85 of our compatriots are being assisted by our Embassy in Moscow to cross the border town of Suny into Russia which as indicated earlier has posed serious difficulties,” she stated.