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MONDAY, October 03, 2022
PM pledges 'best possible help' to stranded Russian, Ukrainian tourists

PM pledges 'best possible help' to stranded Russian, Ukrainian tourists

SATURDAY, March 19, 2022

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant state agencies to provide the “best possible assistance” to Russian and Ukrainian tourists stranded in Thailand.

“The government is also providing humanitarian aid to Russians and Ukrainians in Thailand who are affected by the ongoing war,” government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Saturday. “All those tourists should rest assured that the government will offer care, convenience and help to the best of our ability.”

Some 7,000 Russian and 1,000 Ukrainian tourists are trapped in Thailand, mostly in Phuket and Surat Thani, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said.

Thai authorities have been providing them with alternative payment channels, accommodation while they wait for flights home, interpreters and a hotline service for assistance.

Russian banks were expelled from the SWIFT system, which manages financial transactions and payments between banks worldwide.

Many flights to Russia and Ukraine have been cancelled since the war was sparked on February 24, with several Ukrainian airports being destroyed.

Thanakorn said tourists who are unable to make transfers due to the SWIFT ban have been advised to use other systems such as TransferWise, Western Union and MoneyGram. Money transfers can also be made through Thai commercial banks and non-banking channels such as Thailand Post, he added.

Thai authorities are working closely with Russia and Ukraine embassies in providing help to their nationals stranded in Thailand, the spokesman said.

Tourists whose flights home were cancelled have been advised to other airlines like Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines to get home, he said.