Govt ready to assist Malaysian students in Russia return on own cost, says embassy

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks along the street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Moscow April 10, 2020. ― Reuters pic
A woman wearing a protective face mask walks along the street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, in Moscow April 10, 2020. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Malaysian Embassy in Russia is prepared to facilitate Malaysians stranded in the federation to return on their own cost.

Deputy Chief of Mission of the Malaysian Embassy to the Russian Federation, Johan Ariff Abdul Razak said as at May 12, the number of Malaysians registered with the embassy was 923 with 902 of them students.

Clarifying that there was no restriction on any Malaysians who want to return home, he said the main issue now is the absence of commercial flights from Russia to Malaysia.

In March, the Russian government closed all its national borders and suspended the operation of all commercial airlines.

“Before the Russian Government made the decision, the embassy had advised Malaysians not to delay their return if there was no important reason to continue staying in Russia,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Johan Ariff said the embassy is always ready to assist Malaysians return with the latest group to leave Russia on March 31.

Recently, it was reported that Malaysian students in Russia had expressed the hope that the government would bring them back as they were worried over Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.

On the condition of Malaysians in Russia, Johan Ariff said Malaysian students and individuals in Russia are healthy and safe as the embassy is in close contact on the latest status of each student especially via student representatives and heads.

For Malaysians who live in communities such as Moscow, Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd, they need to keep close contact with student representatives in their respective areas, he said.

“All Malaysians are advised to register with the embassy so that their whereabouts in the federation could be monitored,” he said.

Russia has also enforced curfew in the effort to contain Covid-19 infection.

He said there is a marked difference in compliance by the people here to the government order when a number of locals were seen not taking the government’s directive seriously.

“This has somewhat contributed to the anxiety of Malaysians especially students who are living in hostels with locals,” he said.

On the supply of food to Malaysians, Johan Ariff said the supply of food in Russia on the whole is sufficient including halal food.

“The embassy is monitoring and will extend consular assistance in collaboration with the Russian government if there is a problem on supply of halal food,” he said.

As at yesterday, there are 242,271 Covid-19 cases in Russia with 2,212 deaths. — Bernama

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