Bangladesh has asked its nationals stranded in Ukraine to contact the country's diplomatic missions in the neighbouring European countries while Poland and Romania came forward to provide temporary shelters for Bangladeshis.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday issued helpline numbers for the stranded Bangladeshi nationals to help them get into Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova, all bordering Ukraine.
They can reach Rahat Bin Zaman, Deputy Chief of Mission on +43 688 60344492 and Jubayadul H Chowdhury on +43 688 60603068 in Vienna.
For Romania and Moldova, people in distress can get in touch with the Bangladesh Embassy in Romania, Bucharest: (i) +40 (742) 553 809, (ii) Mir Mehedi Hasan (tel & WhatsApp group) +40 (742) 553 809.
For Poland, they can contact the following people at the Bangladesh Embassy in Warsaw -- Md Masudur Rahman, +48 739 527 722: Md Mahbubur Rahman, +48 579 262 403; MST Farhana Yesmin, +48 690 282 561; Billal Hossain, +48 739 634 125; and Md Rabbani, +48 696 745 903.
Poland has "opened its border with Ukraine" to let in Bangladeshi nationals from the neighbouring country in the wake of a Russian invasion.
Bangladesh citizens carrying passports can secure a travel pass at the border to enter Poland without a visa, but they need to carry two colour passport-sized photos with them, the Bangladesh Embassy in Warsaw said in a notification on Friday.
A team from the Embassy in Warsaw will also reach the Poland-Ukraine border on Saturday to assist Bangladeshi citizens wishing to enter Poland. The countries share an over 500km-long border.
The Embassy also urged the Bangladeshi expats who are in far off areas from the Poland border to observe the situation carefully before moving ahead.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has advised its citizens who are in the south and southwest of Ukraine to go to Romania.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Friday said the Romanian government will make arrangements for their two-day stay and then arrange for their return to Bangladesh under the supervision of the Bangladesh Embassy in Bucharest.
'The Bangladesh Embassy in Romania will issue a more detailed notice shortly," he said.
Earlier, on Thursday Shahriar said that the government would arrange chartered flights to bring back Bangladeshis from Poland if they can safely enter Poland with visa on-arrival on an emergency basis with the support of the Polish government.
“Our first task is to bring our citizens to Poland safely from Ukraine,” he told reporters at his office, adding that they had already talked to the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) and Biman Bangladesh Airlines to that end.
He also said they would finalise the modalities of evacuation from Poland and "will talk to foreign airlines too, if needed".
"Poland will allow Bangladeshis to stay for 15 days upon their arrival from Ukraine and the government of Bangladesh hopes to bring back its citizens much ahead of the 15-day timeline."
The State Minister had also said that the Bangladesh Embassy in Poland "is taking preparations to provide accommodation facilities for Bangladeshis’ stay there until their evacuation". "They (Bangladeshis) need to come to the Polish border from Ukraine making their own arrangements."
An estimated 500 Bangladeshi nationals, including students, are currently stranded in Ukraine.
Asked about exact figure of Bangladeshis in Ukraine including undocumented ones Bangladesh's Ambassador to Poland Sultana Laila Hossain told UNB over the phone from Warsaw that they were getting a number in between 1000-1500 but many moved from Ukraine already. “We don’t have an accurate figure.”
The ambassador said Bangladeshis are not concentrated in a single place and those who are in touch with the embassy informed this morning about bombing and siren.