Foreign relations experts are advising Nigeria to stay neutral in the conflict between neighbouring countries Russia and Ukraine.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN) on Friday, February 25, 2022, gave the advice to the federal government amid the escalation of violence rocking Ukraine.
Ambassador Gani Lawal, the president of the association, in an interview with NAN, disclosed that the Nigerian government has made arrangements for her citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as airports are opened.
"The Nigerian government should remain neutral, non-aligned, as we used to be", he said.
“The Nigerian government has made arrangements for her citizens who want to leave to leave as soon as airports are opened.
"Where not possible, a safe corridor will be negotiated for evacuation of civilians. Presently, Russia is not targetting civilian enclaves, but military installations", Lawal added.
According to Lawal, it has become important for countries in the international community to act based on the direction of their foreign policy, and in the interest of their national security.
"I will not weep for Ukraine because foreign policy is about national interest and for national interest to be preserved, it stands to reason to carry your neighbours along.
"Who told Ukraine that its protection lies in the hands of so-called friends, located several miles away from its shores?
"Will it not serve Ukraine’s interest to make friends with a strong neighbour like Russia than to become an enfant terrible of some distant powers that are far from its beckon in times of crisis?
"It is dicey foreign policy to play host to a distant foreign power while sharing borders with a rival foreign power."
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