'Filipinos in Ukraine won't be harmed'; safe border exit assured --- Locsin

Filipinos in Ukraine will not be harmed and will have a safe exit to the closest border amid the growing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the Philippines' top diplomat said Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

"Rest assured Filipinos in Ukraine will come to no harm; I will be on top of it personally," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Twitter.

Locsin said he is already making calls to arrange the exit of Filipinos from Ukraine's capital, Kyiv.

There are about 140 to 350 Filipinos in Kyiv.

He said they will be brought to the closest border and will have to travel by land.

The Foreign Affairs chief, who is currently in Cambodia until Feb. 18, said that by Feb. 19, he will be in Paris which is close to Ukraine.

"That's close enough to Ukraine to effect their safe passage out. Russian Belgograd & Kursk are closest; from west—Poland, Hungary, Slovakia; south— Romania & Moldova border Ukraine but farther from Filipinos in Kyiv than Russian Kursk. Making calls now," Locsin said.

"It will be a land journey to the closest border. I expect the Americans to keep watch as they did in Libyan evacuations and rescues," he said in a separate tweet.

Locsin further said that Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola will also be on top of the task of arranging the evacuation of Filipinos in Ukraine.

Filipinos in the foreign land are urged to keep communication lines with the Philippine Embassy in Poland open and wait for updates, bulletins and safety instructions.