Russia's president has instructed the emergencies and railways chiefs to evacuate Russians from Libya where the government is using force to squash protesters, a spokeswoman said on Monday.
Natalia Timakova said President Dmitry Medvedev had ordered Sergei Shoigu and Vladimir Yakunin to work on ways how to withdraw 204 employees of the Russian Railways monopoly and its subsidiaries and 20 staff of the Gazprom oil and gas giant from the North African country.
Earlier on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry recommended that Russians avoid traveling to Libya where at least 233 people have died in week-long clashes between protesters and the police, according to Human Rights Watch.
Representatives of several travel agencies in Russia said only several dozen Russian tourists were staying in Libya where protesters seek to oust 42-year leader Muammar Gaddafi and want economic and political reforms.
Russian Railways said on Monday that it was already evacuating its staff from Libya. Gazprom's subsidiary Gazprom International has also decided to evacuate its employees from Libya. Gazprom's other subsidiary Gazprom Zarubezhneftegaz said it had stepped up security of its staffers in Libya but declined to comment on evacuation.
MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti)