Turkish naval ship may guard ferry evacuating Russians from Libya
The Russian Emergencies Ministry plans to engage a Turkish naval ship to provide security for Russians and citizens of other countries who will be evacuated by Saint Stefan ferry from the Libyan port of Ras Lanuf, RIA Novosti reported.
Violent nationwide protests demanding the end of the 42-year rule of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi are currently raging across Libya. National authorities clamped down on the protests. According to international organizations, between 640 and 4,000 were affected in the clashes. Libyan authorities pledged to continue to suppress the opposition.
Many countries have sent evacuation planes and vessels to bring back home its citizens who were caught up in the chaos.
Since the beginning of the tumult, Russia has sent four evacuation planes to Libya. A statement, saying that four additional planes and a ferry may be sent to Libya, was issued on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday.
The Saint Stefan ferry set off on Friday and is currently approaching Libya. It is to arrive in Ras Lanuf on early February 27. Russian Emergencies Minster Sergei Shoigu said all preparations for the departure should be completed by 4.00 a.m. local time.
The total of 1126 foreigners are waiting for evacuation in Ras Lanuf. There are 124 Russian citizens among them.
A plane set off from London for Libya's Tripoli to bring back British citizens. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was "very important" for any Britons to get on board the plane as it is expected to be the last evacuation flight for Britain.
A chartered ferry carrying about 2,900 Chinese nationals evacuated from Libya arrived at the island of Crete on Saturday.