Nepal calls on Russia to stop recruiting its citizens for war

Nepal calls on Russia to stop recruiting its citizens for war

Nepal has called on Moscow not to recruit its citizens into the Russian army and immediately send all previously recruited Nepalese soldiers back to the country.

That's according to The Kathmandu Post, Ukrinform reports.

The Nepalese government said that at least six Nepali nationals serving in the Russian army had been killed while fighting Ukrainian forces. The country's foreign ministry asked the Russian government to immediately return the bodies of the dead and pay compensation to their families. The statement added that diplomatic efforts were on to rescue and repatriate Bibek Khatri, who was fighting for Russia and had been captured by the Ukrainian army.

Milan Raj Tuladhar, Nepali ambassador to Russia, told the media outlet that it is estimated that as many as 150-200 Nepali nationals have been serving in the Russian army as mercenaries.

"We are sending those who come to our contact back to Nepal, telling them about the high risks associated with joining the Russian army," Tuladhar said.

The ambassador added that Nepali nationals were being lured with promises of big money and were mostly smuggled into Russia, with each individual paying up to NPR 1 million to "agents." With the help of human traffickers, many Nepalis have reached Russia on student and tourist visas and joined its army.

Even Nepali nationals who are living in Russia are involved in the trafficking of fellow Nepalis, prompting the Nepali Embassy in Moscow to request the Russian government to discourage nonessential visits of Nepali nationals, the foreign ministry said.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that the government has information that some Nepali nationals also serve in the Ukrainian Army. However, the government does not have data on how many Nepali citizens are currently serving in Russian and Ukrainian armies since the war started on February 24, 2022

The government does not permit Nepali nationals to serve in foreign armies besides India and the United Kingdom. On August 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal issued a statement and urged Nepali citizens not to join foreign armies in war-torn countries.

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