Nepal to Receive Compensation from Russia for Nationals Killed in Ukraine Conflict

Nepal to Receive Compensation from Russia for Nationals Killed in Ukraine Conflict
Credit goes to Kathmandu Post

Russia has committed to compensating the families of Nepali nationals who lost their lives in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, with the process being facilitated through the Nepali Embassy in Moscow. The arrangement sidesteps earlier requirements for family members to travel to Russia, addressing logistical and financial challenges.

To date, 14 Nepali citizens have been confirmed dead in the conflict, though sources on the ground suggest the actual number might be higher. The compensation process was confirmed by Amrit Bahadur Rai, the spokesperson for Nepal's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, indicating a direct engagement with Russian authorities on the matter.

Originally, Russian officials had proposed that compensation be collected in person in Russia. This stance shifted following negotiations, allowing for the compensation to be routed through the Nepali Embassy in Moscow, then to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and finally to the deceased's families in their respective districts.

The specifics of the compensation distribution are still under discussion. Preliminary estimates suggest that the families could receive up to Rs15 million per deceased, including both compensation and insurance, with a base amount of approximately Rs7.3 million for those without insurance.

The recruitment of Nepali nationals into the Russian Army, a practice highlighted by a decree from Russian President Vladimir Putin offering citizenship to foreign nationals serving Russia, poses additional complexities. Another decree outlines compensation of five million rubles ($68,800) for the families of Russian soldiers killed, and three million rubles ($41,300) for those injured.

Foreign Minister NP Saud, in discussions with Russia, emphasized the impracticality of the initial Russian proposal for family members to travel for compensation. These discussions occurred during a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister in Kampala, Uganda, focusing on the welfare of Nepali nationals involved in the conflict.

Nepal has made formal requests to Russia to cease recruiting Nepali nationals into its military and to ensure the repatriation of those killed and the provision of timely compensation to their families. While Russia has agreed to compensation for the families of the deceased, there remains a lack of clarity regarding compensation for injured Nepali nationals, with one reported case of a survivor receiving treatment in Kathmandu without confirmed compensation.

The issue has drawn significant concern, with over 200 families petitioning for the safe return of their relatives serving in the Russian military. In response, the Nepali government has restricted travel to Russia and Ukraine to official visits only, reflecting the seriousness of the situation and the government's efforts to protect its citizens.