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Editorial: Ramp up diplomatic efforts

Editorial: Ramp up diplomatic efforts

Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prakash Saud recently disclosed that over 200 Nepalis are serving in the Russian Army. Russia is recruiting Nepali nationals to increase its military strength in its war with Ukraine without sharing any official information with the Nepali government.

On the basis of complaints from concerned families, Minister Saud revealed that around 100 Nepalis remain unaccounted for, and several others are injured. The government has written to Moscow, requesting assistance in ascertaining the number of Nepalis involved in the war, stopping the recruitment of Nepalis in its military, and facilitating the repatriation of the deceased.

Although the two countries have a cordial relationship, Moscow is yet to respond to these urgent requests. Given the gravity of the situation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must intensify diplomatic efforts to ensure the well-being and safe return of Nepali citizens in Russia. If bilateral efforts prove insufficient, Nepal should consider seeking the support of influential nations such as China, India and the United States for the repatriation of Nepalis there. Nepal can approach the European Union and the US for the release of Nepali citizens taken hostage in Ukraine. The government, however, has yet to reach out to these countries for assistance.

While Russia expresses a desire for continued engagement with Kathmandu, its failure to respond to Nepal’s legitimate concerns regarding the welfare of its citizens abroad is disconcerting. Moscow must recognize the urgency of the situation and respond as soon as possible.