By John Ikani
Ambassador of Russia to Nigeria, Alexei Shebarshin has assured that no harm will befall citizens of Nigeria living in Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.
Shebarshin gave the assurance when he was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Friday.
According to him, civilians are not being targeted and that hopefully, it won’t last long.
Both parties discussed on the safest options for evacuation of 5600 Nigerian citizens, although it had been disclosed that some have made it into neighboring countries via road travel.
Shebarshin however told Onyeama that there might be risk involved in the evacuation of Nigerians in Ukraine, while also saying that Russia was mindful of the civilians from foreign countries and that they would take all the necessary measures to ensure their security.
“He was a lot more sanguine, optimistic that no harm will come to them, but we cannot take any risks,” Onyeama told newsmen after the meeting.
Speaking for Nigeria, Onyema advised that Russia should consider a diplomatic dialogue in resolving the issue.
He went on to note that the Nigerian Government sympathised with Ukraine regarding its situation as a country and as a people, in view of the heavy bombardment which has led to the loss of lives, adding that Nigeria has over 5000 students in the country, and is concerned about their safety.