At least 276 Belgians and family members still in Ukraine, says Wilmès

At least 276 Belgians and family members still in Ukraine, says Wilmès
Credit: Belga

At least 276 Belgians and close relatives are currently still in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès said at a press conference on Tuesday.

It concerns 232 Belgians, 44 close relatives and also 18 Luxembourg citizens in Ukraine, Wilmès specified. Due to the closed airspace over the country, repatriation is not possible.

"Our priority is and remains to ensure consular assistance," she said, adding that Foreign Affairs is "very concerned" about all Belgians still in Ukraine. Teams are present to provide assistance at the borders between Ukraine and Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Romania, Wilmès said.

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Additionally, just over 900 Belgians are still in Russia. Like those in Ukraine, they too are advised to leave the country. Those who are staying there permanently are advised to check whether it is possible to temporarily return to Belgium or not.

The European airspace is closed to planes from Russia, but it is possible to leave Russia via third countries. The Belgian embassy in Moscow will continue to help people trying to leave the country.

Wilmès also stressed the importance of registering on for everyone who is currently in Ukraine or Russia. "There are probably more people there than we know about, but we cannot help if we do not know they are there."

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