Armenia and Azerbaijan scramble to get their citizens out of Ukraine as the situation worsens

As countries around the world grapple with how best to get their citizens out of Ukraine, Armenian and Azerbaijani citizens are fleeing the country amid the ongoing crisis.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said on 28 February that Azerbaijani citizens were currently being transferred from Ukraine to neighbouring Moldova, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania, and that agreements between Azerbaijan and these countries ensured those leaving wouldn’t need visas. The ministry said that since the start of the invasion, 950 Azerbaijani citizens have entered Moldova; 447 Poland; 17 Hungary; 200 Romania; and 13 Slovakia.

Azerbaijani reports from earlier today confirm that at least 176 Azerbaijani citizens have been evacuated from Romania to Baku. Earlier, another 168 Azerbaijani nationals were flown to Baku on a charter flight.

A report from Azerbaijan’s Honorary Consulate in Kharkiv today stated that 500 Azerbaijanis had also been evacuated from Ukraine’s second-largest city, which has come under increasingly heavy attack from Russian forces.

While the exact number is unclear, hundreds of Armenians have reportedly fled to nearby countries. The Armenian foreign ministry said last week that Armenians crossing into neighbouring countries like Poland, Hungary, or Romania would similarly not need visas after agreements were reached. It added that other options for evacuating citizens from Ukraine were being considered, and that Armenia was ready to receive evacuees. 

Nevertheless, there are reports of large numbers of Armenians still desperate to leave Ukraine, but unable to do so because of the increasing danger and difficulty of travelling across the country. 

Hamlet Hovhannisyan, Assistant to the Honorary Consul of Armenia in Kharkiv, reportedly told today that “there is no evacuation at the moment, each family decides for itself whether it can go or not. They are going primarily to European countries. People are trying to get out, risking their lives”.

Source: with, and agencies
Photo: Azerbaijanis arrive in Baku;