No Bhutanese in Ukraine: Foreign Minister

Thousands of Ukrainians are forced to leave their homeland following the Russian invasion on Thursday. Russia reportedly sent troops into the ex-Soviet nation from three fronts and fired missiles on several locations near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. International media reports that the conflict could have a major impact on people around the world. The Foreign Minister, Dr Tandi Dorji, said the ministry is studying and assessing the impacts the war will have on Bhutan. The minister said there are no Bhutanese in Ukraine.

By air, land, and sea, Russia has launched a devastating attack on Ukraine, a European democracy of 44 million people. Ukraine’s President stated, 137 Ukrainian citizens both soldiers and civilians died on Thursday. UN estimates suggest that more than 100,000 Ukrainians have already fled their homes.

Russia launched the attack following a TV address where Russian President Putin demanded that Ukraine’s military lay down its arms. President Putin claimed his goal was to protect Ukrainian people subjected to bullying and genocide.

The Russian President also said that the special military operation is aimed at “demilitarizing and de-Nazification” of Ukraine. According to The Washington Post, the crisis involves land borders and strategic influence. Separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk, cities in eastern Ukraine, backed by Russia have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since 2014.

Amongst human casualties, the raging war is expected to adversely hit the world economy. According to the BBC, world leaders have imposed sanctions designed to cripple the Russian economy and military effort. There are fears that President Putin might weaponise its natural resources by reducing supplies of gas to Europe in response to sanctions.

According to the BBC, Europe is 40 per cent dependent on Russian gas. If Russia chokes off that supply to Europe, it sends prices spiralling and instantly inflicts deep economic pain on European households and businesses.

According to Indian Express, India imported sunflower oil and urea worth about USD 2 M between April to December, last year from Ukraine. There is a looming prospect that the country would be impacted adversely.

As the horrific war rages on, millions of people are seen sending prayers and support from all over the world including Bhutan.

Tshering Dendup

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