In what would come as a major relief to thousands of medical students who were studying in Ukraine before the war, Kyiv has said that it would allow foreign medical students to take the Unified State Qualification Exam in their country of domicile. This comes close on the heels of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing the desire to build a stronger relationship between the two countries. The future of thousands of medical students who were forced to leave Ukraine last year remained in the dark.
Ukraine’s decision to allow Indian medical students to take Unified State Qualification Exam in India was conveyed by its First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Emine Dzhaparova, who was visiting India, during her talks with Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
“On the issue of Indian medical students, the deputy foreign minister mentioned that Ukraine will allow foreign medical students to take the Unified State Qualification Exam in their country of domicile,” the MEA said in a statement.
The First Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine wrapped up her three-day visit to India on Wednesday. It was the first visit from Ukraine to India after Russia began its invasion of the east European country on February 24 last year.
Over 20,000 Indians, mostly medical students, were evacuated from Ukraine post the February 24, 2022 invasion by Russia. Most of them had to leave their studies mid-way and were at a loss about their future prospects with the Ukraine conflict continuing.
MEA said that Dzhaparova has conveyed to her Indian interlocutors Kyiv’s desire to build a stronger and closer relationship with New Delhi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She handed over the letter to Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi during a meeting on Tuesday.
“Besides holding discussion on a wide range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, she handed over a letter from President Zelenskyy, addressed to Prime Minister Modi,” the MEA said on the Lekhi-Dzhaparova meeting.
In a tweet on her meeting with MoS Meenakshi Lekhi, she said: “I was glad to pass @M_Lekhi a letter from #Ukraine’s President @ZelenskyyUa to Indian Prime Minister@narendramodi.
“As our countries India & Ukraine have mutual interests & visions, intensified dialogue on the highest level will be fruitful for our people and security in the world.” The MEA said the next round of foreign office consultations between the two sides will be held in Kyiv on a mutually convenient date.
During the talks, bilateral agenda included – spheres such as economic, defence, humanitarian assistance, and global issues of mutual interest. She briefed Secretary (West) about the prevailing situation in Ukraine and requested for additional humanitarian supply, including medicines and medical equipment.
She also proposed that rebuilding infrastructure in Ukraine could be an opportunity for Indian companies. MEA said Dzhaparova’s visit to India would facilitate cooperation between the two countries and shared how India has provided medicines, medical equipment and would provide school buses etc. to Ukraine.
Since the Ukraine conflict began in February last year, Prime Minister Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Ukrainian leader Zelenskyy a number of times. In a phone conversation with President Zelenskyy on October 4 last year, Modi said that there can be “no military solution” and that India is ready to contribute to any peace efforts. India has not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it has been maintaining that the crisis must be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
The writer is a Delhi-based freelance journalist, who has reported and written on a wide range of subjects in an extensive career.