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Thailand to evacuate citizens from Ukraine, supports diplomatic peace talks

Jay Shine

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Credit: National News Bureau of Thailand

Thailand’s permanent representative to the United Nations has voiced support for a diplomatic solution regarding the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Speaking during the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Suriya Chindawongse says Thailand has been following developments in Ukraine closely, especially the escalation of tension that is threating international peace and security.

Chindawongse says his delegation agrees with the Secretary-General’s method of approach, which would see dialogue conducted in accordance with the Minsk agreements and other mechanisms, in hopes of de-escalating the situation and finding a diplomatic solution.

Regarding humanitarian concerns, he is calling on “certain parties” to refrain from the use of force, and to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.

After Russian began invading Ukraine on Thursday, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the situation saying…

“Thailand has been following developments in Ukraine and especially the escalation of tensions in Europe with deep concern. We support ongoing efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the situation through dialogue.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour has assured that there’s funding support to help Thai nationals who are working in Ukraine.

A January 2022 report indicates that 139 Thai citizens are currently working in Ukraine, with 126 of these workers employed through the Overseas Employment program, according to Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

Most of these Thai nationals are reportedly employed in spas and massage parlors.

The Labour Minister says the members of the program will receive funding support from the Department of Employment, which has a fund to assist members who are unable to return to Thailand before the end of their contract due to war, instability, natural disasters or epidemics in their country of employment.

In the meantime, the Labour Minister advises Thai citizens in Ukraine to remain alert and watch for information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in preparation for emergency evacuation.

Thai citizens and workers can contact for assistance at the Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, by phone +48-696-642-348 or by e-mail at thaiconsularwarsaw@thaiemb.pl

The Thai embassy in Warsaw has set up an operations centre at a hotel in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, near the border with Poland, to serve as a temporary shelter for about 250 Thai nationals who may be evacuated from their workplaces in Ukraine, according to an announcement from the embassy.

The embassy in Warsaw says it has consulted Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it was agreed that the operations centre should be established. Embassy officials have already been sent to Lviv to book rooms for Thai citizens seeking evacuation.

The hotel is to be used as a temporary gathering point for Thai nationals, mostly employees of Thai massage parlours or spas in various cities in Ukraine. It’s expected that they will board repatriation flights back to Thailand from either Lviv or Warsaw.

The embassy also says it has been in contact with the employers of Thai nationals in Ukraine to ensure their safety, as well as to arrange for food, travel documents and transport to take them out of the danger zones, if possible.

The embassy says the situation in Ukraine is highly tense and volatile. Some roads have been blocked, making travel over land by private and public vehicles difficult.

Moreover, car rental services in Ukraine and Poland have been reluctant to hire out their vehicles. Media reports have shown Ukrainians fleeing to Poland by train.

In an effort to provide transportation, the embassy has promised to try its best to secure a bus to collect at least some of Thai nationals in Ukraine and bring them safely to Lviv for evacuation.

It’s not know yet where such a bus would depart from or which cities it would attempt to pass through.

Thai citizens and workers can contact for assistance at the Royal Thai Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, by phone +48-696-642-348 or by e-mail at thaiconsularwarsaw@thaiemb.pl.

SOURCES: NNT | AFP

 

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    A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.

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