Hieu, who is also Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, was among the officials present at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 8 noon to welcome 287 Vietnamese people who were evacuated from Ukraine and on board the first repatriation flight in Romania.
Talking to the press at Noi Bai airport, he said since the fighting broke out, one of the top priorities of the Party, State, Government, and Vietnam Fatherland Front is to guarantee the safety of overseas Vietnamese citizens and businesses.
The Government demanded a special working group be set up to move the citizens out of war zones and assist those who wish to return to the homeland. As the coordinating body, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been working closely with relevant ministries and sectors to order Vietnam’s representative agencies in Ukraine and neighbouring countries like Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, in cooperation with Vietnamese associations, to immediately evacuate those in the worst war zones, the official noted.
The first repatriation flight was arranged within three days, Hieu said, thanking Vietnamese associations in the nearby countries of Ukraine to help successfully perform this task.
The majority of the Vietnamese people in Ukraine have been safely evacuated from war zones. (Photo: VNA)
He cited the representative agencies as reporting that most of the citizens in war zones have been safely evacuated. Basing on their aspirations, ministries and sectors will propose the Government and the working group organise more repatriation flights in the time ahead.
The deputy minister said this time’s citizen protection and evacuation campaign has some special features.
This is not the first time repatriation flights have been conducted on a large scale since a similar move was made in the face of the Libya crisis in 2011. However, most of the Vietnamese people in Ukraine have lived in this country for a long time and had strong links with it. Many of them previously thought that the fight would not be so fierce.
Vietnam’s overseas representative bodies have continually issued recommendations and persuaded the expatriates, who often made the evacuation decision at the last minutes.
Relevant agencies have been exerting utmost efforts to liaise with authorities in Ukraine and Russia to create a safety corridor for the citizens to move, Hieu noted, adding that only a few people are still in Ukraine to watch over their assets, and the agencies are still keeping in touch with them to give help.
This citizen protection campaign has certain advantages, including the Party, State, and Government leaders’ attention, relevant agencies’ proactiveness, and experience in handling previous crises, but much still needs to be done in the coming time, according to the official.