Foreign Affairs Ministry urges Jamaican citizens to leave Russia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is strongly recommending that Jamaicans located in Russia leave that country, as the situation is becoming increasingly difficult as a consequence of various sanctions imposed in response to its military actions in Ukraine.

Message on a monument in Russia. (Photo: Deutsche Welle)

Please do share this information with anyone you know who might be affected – apart from students (I would have thought that more than 18 Jamaicans would be studying in Russia?) Based on the “last minute” experience of our students in Ukraine (where thousands of foreign students are still trapped in some cities, I understand) it would be wise to heed this advice.

Times are tough and uncertain. While our Finance Minister is “Flavor of the Month” in our local media after his enthusiastic Budget Presentation (and this evening’s incredibly well attended Spaces on Twitter) we truly don’t know what 2022 has in store for us. We are just in March. It has already dealt a harsh blow to me personally with my husband’s illness. In general, the world is looking very uncertain. Where will we all be by the end of the year? Let us be cautious, and take one day at a time.

Meanwhile, long lines built up in Kingston this evening outside gas stations, as prices will be going up tomorrow…

Long lines at the gas pumps in Kingston. Who knows what tomorrow will bring…

Here is more from the Minister on the precarious state of things – and I hope Jamaicans will heed her advice:

Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said: “Flights to and from Russia have already been restricted as several countries close airspace to Russian flights. Visa and Mastercard have suspended all transactions with Russia and international financial transfers to and from Russia have also been suspended. This should all be seen as a clear indication of the worsening situation in Russia, and we therefore advise Jamaicans there, to leave as soon as practicable.”

The Ministry is aware that several countries including France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have advised their citizens to leave Russia.”

The Minister also advised that the Ministry has been in contact with eighteen students in Russia and so far three (3) of them are making plans to leave in the coming days. “I am hopeful that the rest of our students will make the right decision to leave,” Johnson Smith stressed.

In a new development, the Foreign Ministry is also now aware of four (4) Jamaican medical students in Tbilisi, Georgia. Contact has been made with them and we are also asking these nationals to consider their options including to find safe countries in which to seek shelter, until the situation in the Eastern European region becomes clearer.

Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Moscow, the Embassy of Jamaica in Berlin and the Ministry’s Consular Affairs Department will remain available to engage with Jamaicans and they may be contacted at  Schmargendorfer Strasse 32, 12159 Berlin,, and or, respectively.

A Soviet memorial in Sofia, Bulgaria, which has been the site of pro-Ukrainian protests. (Photo: Deutsche Welle)

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