Kathmandu: Nepal’s Foreign Minister NP Saud has said that the government has received complaints that about 100 Nepali citizens are reportedly missing or injured while serving in the Russian army amidst the conflict with Ukrainian forces.
Minister Saud, in an interview with the state-owned National News Agency, also said an estimated 200 Nepalis are serving in the Russian army.
Expressing concern over the situation, Minister Saud said that the government has officially communicated its worries to the Russian government. “The Russian authorities conveyed that seven Nepali citizens have lost their lives in the conflict,” said Saud, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received additional reports of missing and injured individuals from families and friends of those who joined the Russian Army.
To address the matter diplomatically, the government summoned the Russian ambassador and urged the envoy to convey their concerns to the Russian government. While the exact number of Nepalis in the Russian army is yet to be determined, Minister Saud said that it could be significantly higher than the estimated 200, given the reports of missing and injured individuals.
In response to these developments, the Nepali government has implemented measures to regulate travel to Russia. It is now mandatory to obtain a no-objection certificate for travel to Russia from specific countries, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and six Gulf countries.
Regarding Nepali nationals held captive by Ukrainian forces, Minister Saud shared that efforts have been made to secure their release. The government is actively engaging with the Ukrainian government, with the ambassador negotiating for their immediate release, he said.
The government is also taking steps for the release of Bipin Joshi, a Nepali student held hostage by Hamas following the October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group, said the Minister.