The coronavirus pandemic had a serious impact on the lives of Uzbeks in Russia. We received many appeals from our compatriots, who found themselves in a difficult situation in a foreign country. Our correspondents contacted the Consul General of Uzbekistan in the Russian Federation Mekhriddin Khayriddinov.
By whom and in what order are the lists for catching a charter flight to Uzbekistan drawn up?
A very large number of Uzbeks live and work in Russia. On March 16, the Telegram bot was launched to receive appeals from them. Through a link in the bot, a citizen leaves his last name, first name, passport and other data, and the bot automatically enters this information into the list.
There have been times when people had reentered the same information to this list several times. It takes a lot of time to clear the list. Therefore, I would ask citizens, who want to be on the list, not to register 10-20 times.
Who resolves the issue of charter flights?
Charter flights are organized only by a decision of the Special Republican Commission. The question of when to launch the charter is decided on the basis of the number of quarantine seats in hospitals in Uzbekistan, and other factors.
“Embassies only provide listings”
Embassies only provide listings. In our list there are already more than 50 thousand people. After the exact date of the flight is known, the seriously ill, pregnant women, the elderly, women with young children are selected first. This is also a big responsibility, because there are a large number of people in this category, and it is very difficult to choose among them.
In such a difficult time, citizens are encouraged to show tolerance and resilience, respect for each other.
There were scammers making false documents confirming illness or pregnancy
There are a lot of such requests. Selecting people is a huge responsibility. For example, if there are 4 thousand pregnant women, and 350 can fly away with the first flight, then it is very difficult to decide which one will fly back. Listing is primarily related to the health condition of this person.
After announcing that they will primarily take seriously ill, disabled people, all of a sudden everyone urgently “become sick” in the Telegram-bot. If a person is sick, he should present documents and they will be checked.
There were also scammers. There have been cases of preparing false documents confirming the disease, pregnancy. But we don’t have the opportunity to do X-rays for everyone and check whether this is true.
Why is the embassy’s phone number constantly busy?
We have internal service numbers. One can call the staff from the city, and this number is also used for internal calls.
They ask almost the same questions over the phone: when will the charter flight be, when will we fly away, am I on the list or not? On the embassy website, on the pages of social networks, all this information is covered.
If you call and ask, they will provide you with the same information.
Those who have submitted their data are undoubtedly listed. The site and pages indicate which categories of people will be returned first. If a person is not included in this category, then when his turn comes up, he will be contacted.
Of course, there are many such complaints. Citizens need to understand the situation correctly. If we timely respond to people who are in the category of in dire need of help, it will be more appropriate. There are people who talk on the phone for 10-15 minutes. Even if 100 people call and talk for 5-6 minutes, it will take 600 minutes – 10 hours.
True, this is our problem, and we are trying to solve it. Now, the following phone numbers in the call center will operate around the clock. Each phone has 5-6 channels.
Call center numbers of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Russia:
+7 499 238 3620
Our government is primarily interested in the repatriation of citizens from here. Therefore, you need a little patience. On May 12, work began in Russia at construction sites, in industrial enterprises. Here, there is not enough labor force. Young guys can take advantage of this. If you make a bit of effort, then you can find a job.
Let’s help Uzbekistan and our people by assessing the situation in the country. All this is done for a reason, it requires a lot of resources, and a lot of workers are involved in various fields. Isn’t it the time to show patriotism? This calamity is happening all over the world. No one was ready for such a situation.
“Calls for a trip to the border with Kazakhstan began earlier”
Calls for a trip to the Russian border with Kazakhstan began a little earlier. Some interested people, “bloggers” in various groups from social networks began to convince people to depart from Russia in such a way. There were conversations in the plan: let’s go to the border, stay there for 5 days, and they will open for us. Meanwhile, if earlier these vehicles took 5-6 thousand (rubles) per passenger, now they are asking for 20-30 thousand per person. I personally found those bloggers who called for this, and talked with them. They understood, and gave a rebuttal to what was said earlier.
We also made an announcement on our Facebook page: do not succumb to provocations. Despite this, people went there.
People gathered at the border will be allowed only once as an exception
At the moment, this information has been communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Special Republican Commission. Negotiations are underway with the government of Kazakhstan. Our ambassador spoke with the governor of Orenburg and Samara Oblasts, with the first deputy minister of internal affairs of Russia on the issue of ensuring the safety of citizens there, providing them a place to sleep until the problem is resolved. The governor of Samara put up tents for our citizens there, and provided them with hot meals.
However, people should not forget about their legal obligations. They must comply with the requirements of stay in Russia.
Will our compatriots-entrepreneurs be able to join the embassy’s “Mehr” (“Kindness”) initiative?
The embassy has a separate bank account. All details for the transfer of charitable donations are available on the site. It also provides information on how to ask for help, and how to donate funds to charity.
Who should our compatriots from faraway regions contact for help?
They can apply through the site. All this has been done in order to automate the process, since our resources are also limited. 7 consulates of Uzbekistan located in different regions of the Russian Federation are connected to this platform. You can contact by phone and email. There is no such requirement that you must definitely visit the site. If there are supporting documents that belong to one of these categories, then you should provide them to the embassy or consulate.
The issue of tickets for canceled regular flights
If a citizen has a ticket for flights of the NAC Uzbekistan Airways – only for this company and not other ones – then the ticket for canceled flights is valid for one year. With such a ticket, one can fly away from there.
In view of the pandemic, it was established that these tickets remain valid for one year, only they will need to be rebooked. This is for national airline tickets only. If there are those who want to stay in Russia, then in all areas there are representative offices of the national airline, and it will be possible to refund the amount paid for the ticket.
There are scammers selling fake tickets for non-existent charter flights
Today’s price of a ticket for charter flights is 11 thousand rubles, this is the minimum price. Previously, there was no such price; it was reduced based on the situation. There are scammers. We warn citizens not to succumb to those who sell tickets for non-existent flights.
There were even such situations when the swindlers on behalf of the embassy said: transfer money to this bank card, there will be a flight on such a date, and you will fly away. We warned local law enforcement bodies about this.
Do not believe the offers to transfer money to a bank card. Tickets are sold only at airline ticket offices.
“Gathering near the embassy or consulate – violation of quarantine rules”
Recently, many have come to the embassy, gathered in front of the consulates in the regions, and demanded to send the person first, made some claims.
We are always ready to listen to people. However, one should not forget that there is now a pandemic in Russia. At this time, there is a requirement for a regime of self-isolation, social distance of 1.5 meters. In Moscow, they go outside with special permission. And it’s for a reason. Such restrictions are established based on the current situation. We know about such cases when citizens, who were diagnosed with coronavirus, came here and stood in the middle of other people. This harms not only the health of the person himself, but also the rest.
All information can be obtained online
There were cases when people broke down ads with embassy numbers for communication and other information, threw stones and insulted. There are videos of this. If you act in this way, then nothing will change. Is it not better to stay at home, at least in this way helping our state? After all, you can receive information at home.
Naturally, a crowd of people in one place without permission can attract the attention of local law enforcement bodies, the presence of permits and passes is being checked. They carry out their duties. Everyone should understand each other. And we would like to ask citizens about this. The situation will certainly improve, and everyone will leave for their homeland.