Amid the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war that saw Russia forcefully invade Ukraine, ravaging some of its cities which have caused a lot of people to flee the country, seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Russia has however disclosed that it will ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerians in its country. This was contained in a statement issued on Friday by the embassy of Nigeria in Moscow, with Russia on the sideline of the meeting between officials of the country.
In a statement issued by a special representative of the Russian Federation, it was stated that the country has put in place logistics arrangements to assist in the evacuation of Nigerian students that were stuck in Ukraine. They ensured that they will do everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens. The Russian Federation disclosed that Nigerian students in Ukraine should not feel dismayed as regards their education, as they are also willing to offer admissions to those who are willing to continue their education in Russia.
Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Nigeria to Russia, Prof. Abdullahi Shebu, commended the government of Russia for its concern and assistance towards the plight of Nigerians. The ambassador requested the Russian authorities to provide the necessary conducive environment for the welfare and well-being of Nigerians and also to strengthen Nigeria-Russian bilateral relations in all sectors. Despite the backlash Russia has been receiving for forcefully invading Ukraine, it is still worthy to note that they have not lost touch with humanity.
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They seem to be considerate to Ukrainian citizens and citizens of other countries, especially the ones that they share great relationships with. When the war began, the Nigerian government was perturbed by the recent development which prompted them to invite Russian ambassadors to the country to express their worries over their invasion of Ukraine. Russian delegates had to douse the already rising tension by ensuring the Nigerian government that only military installations would be targeted in Ukraine as they would do nothing to harm Nigerians present there.
Russia and Nigeria have been known to share a special relationship, diplomatic relations between both countries can be traced back to 25th November 1960, during the Nigerian civil war when Russia provided the Nigerian government with political-military assistance. Ever since their relationship has continued to wax strong which is one of the reasons why Russia is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of Nigerians in Ukraine and also going out of its way to offer the students admission in their country.
Russia has always considered Nigeria as an important country and a strategic partner in Africa and will do anything to continue to strengthen its bilateral relations.
Although there are claims that the invasion of Russia of Ukraine has seen so many civilians lose their lives. According to human rights watch, they stated that if Russia is indeed found to be intentionally targeting civilian areas without a military purpose, that would amount to a war crime as investigations are still ongoing. On the other hand When a reporter asked President Joe Biden if Russia was deliberately targeting civilians, he responded, “they are.” He responded to a follow-up question asking if Russia’s actions constituted war crimes saying, “it’s too early to say.”