Prepare to flee Ukraine, Filipinos told
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines advised its nationals in Ukraine on Tuesday, March 4, to prepare for possible evacuation from the European country said to be “on the brink of disaster.”
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it raised crisis alert level 2 in Ukraine “in view of ongoing tensions in that country.”
The DFA described this crisis alert level as the “restriction phase.”
“Filipinos in Ukraine are advised to restrict non-essential movements, avoid public places, closely monitor developments, and prepare for possible evacuation,” the DFA explained.
Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said around 175 Filipinos work in Ukraine.
PH: 'Exercise restraint'
In a separate statement, the DFA also relayed the Philippines' “deep concerns regarding developments in Ukraine.” The Southeast Asian country called on all parties "to exercise restraint, not to escalate through the use of force, and follow obligations under international law.”
The Philippines “urges all parties to resolve the crisis through dialogue,” it added.
The DFA raised alert level 2 after Russia's parliament approved the deployment of troops in Ukraine, a move that heightened tensions there.
Earlier, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned his crisis-hit country was on the "brink of disaster." He accused Russia of declaring war in a bleak appeal to the international community.
Ukraine's bloodiest crisis since its 1991 independence erupted in November, when then president Victor Yanukovych made the shock decision to ditch a European Union trade pact in favor of closer ties with old master Russia.
Yanukovych – deposed after a week of carnage in Kiev claimed nearly 100 lives – broke his silence by telling Russian news agencies he still viewed himself as president. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com