The Nigerian ambassador to Ukraine, Ambassador Frank Isoh, has urged Nigerian students studying in the country to stay calm and remain in their campuses.
In a telephone interview with the News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN), the ambassador confirmed that there are over 5, 000 Nigerian students studying in Ukraine but insisted that the embassy was in constant contact with the Nigerian community, therefore parents and families need not fret over the welfare of their wards.
Mr Isoh was responding to concerns over the safety of Nigerians in Ukraine as the stand-off with Russia intensifies over its occupation of the Crimea region. President Vladmir Putin has defied calls to pull out Russian troops from the mainly ethnic Russian speaking region, insisting he had to protect ‘Russian’ interests in the region.
In a move branded by the EU as illegal, the MPs in the Crimean region today voted for a referendum that would allow the country become a part of the Russian Federation.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and EU Council President Harman Van Rompoy have both said that the referendum was against the Ukrainian constitution and have urged Russia to take steps in stabilising the region.
Russia faces the prospects of tough sanctions from the EU, with tough restrictions on the movement of Russians within the EU, asset freezes and travel bans.
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron said “The Situation is highly precarious and any miscalculation could see it spiral out of control” (BBC).
US President Barack Obama has also condemned the referendum and the actions of Russian President, ‘praising the international unity on display’ at the moment in the face of the crisis.
There are an estimated 7, 000 Nigerians living in Ukraine (NAN). One can only hope that the embassy carries out its duties and protects Nigerians living in that country.