President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Shoigu, I issued instructions to evacuate Russian citizens from Libya. You have already reported that the evacuation, which was a large and rather complicated operation, has been completed. Please brief me on the technical details.
Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Sergei Shoigu: Mr President, per your directive, an operational headquarters was established immediately, which included representatives of Russian Railways, Healthcare Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Transport Ministry – everyone whose involvement was necessary to carry out this operation.
We got eight aircraft ready for the evacuation and set up task forces to be transported to Tripoli and Ras Lanuf. Next a task force landed at the port of Bar to organise ferries. All task forces fulfilled their assignments. We evacuated all the citizens of the Russian Federation who were subject to evacuation, and all the citizens of other countries working for Russian companies, including the employees of Tatneft, Russian Railways, Gazprom and other companies, all together nationals of 26 countries.
Naturally, this work was done in close cooperation with the Foreign Ministry. I would like to thank the Foreign Intelligence Service staff, as well as our colleagues in Montenegro, who provided us with tremendous support and assistance in organising the ferries from the port of Bar in Montenegro to Ras Lanuf.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is an extreme situation, with Libya still on the verge of civil war. Our task was to ensure the safety of all our citizens there because during such events there is usually a complete loss of government control as, in fact, we can see in Libya.
The fact that we were able to quickly, discretely and, most importantly, without incurring any expenses rescue all our people deserves the highest praise. Bear in mind that we were the first to start evacuating people, unlike many other states that dragged their feet with this and have created certain problems for themselves.
I would like to thank the Emergencies Ministry for everything that has been done, because the operation went in strict accordance with the plan, as you and I had agreed. Naturally, I would like to thank the other agencies you mentioned, namely the Foreign Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service and other agencies that contributed to resolving certain organisational and diplomatic issues. These are useful skills.
I think you deserve the gratitude of the Russian citizens and the citizens of other countries working for Russian companies who were safely evacuated from Libya. Please draft a proposal if you think it would be appropriate to reward someone separately. The operation was conducted at a very high level.
Sergei Shoigu: Thank you.