SEPANG: In welcoming back Malaysians who were safely brought out of Ukraine, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today, described the evacuation mission of Malaysians from Ukraine as successful in meeting its objective.

The Prime Minister who ordered the plan to evacuate Malaysians out of Ukraine to be activated, said all 24 Malaysians who registered with the Malaysian Embassy in Ukraine were successfully brought out on Feb 24.

According to him, the last group involved nine Malaysians and two dependents were transported out of Kyiv, Ukraine on Feb 26 by road to Poland.

Today, seven Malaysians including the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Malaysian Embassy in Ukraine Fadhilah Daud, arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at about 3.06 pm via Qatar Airways flight QR0848.

“We are grateful for the mission’s success as what is happening in Ukraine is worrying but the government did its best to ensure its people in Ukraine are safe,” said Ismail Sabri in a media conference after meeting the seven Malaysians at KLIA.

Ismail Sabri said the seven Malaysians who returned home today comprised officers of the Malaysian Embassy in Ukraine as well as family members and students.

According to him, four Malaysians did not return to Malaysia but choose to be in other countries, with two in Poland and two in Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb 24 (Thursday) announced a special military operation in Donbas, east Ukraine and following that Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared an emergency in the country.

Ukraine also announced the closure of air space for civilian use due to the high risk to civilian flights.

Ismail Sabri said the Malaysian Embassy in Kyiv has been closed since Feb 24 following the development in Ukraine.

He said Malaysians who are still in Ukraine but did not register with the embassy earlier could contact the Malaysian Embassy in Warsaw, Poland if they need assistance.

“We have discussed that the office in Warsaw should be contacted if there are issues of unregistered Malaysians needing help,” he said.

On Malaysia’s stand over the issue of Russia and Ukraine, Ismail Sabri repeated that Malaysia is very concerned about the intensifying conflict in Ukraine and urged all parties involved to take measures to reduce and prevent the loss of lives and destruction.

“I had made the statement in Thailand and Cambodia. The statement is still the same as I made earlier, “ he said.

Asked on the report that the Malaysian government was ordered to pay at least US$14.92 billion (RM62.59 billion) to the last heir of Sulu sultan, Ismail Sabri said Wisma Putra and the Attorney-General’s Chambers will be making a statement on the matter soon.

Media reports quoting Spanish news website, La Información reported that the Spanish arbitrator Gonzalo Stampa has ordered the Malaysian government to pay at least US$14.92 billion to the last heir of the Sulu sultan. - Bernama