On 23 February, Russian Railways announced that 204 specialists from the company and its affiliates were working on the construction of the new 550km line between Sirt and Benghazi in Libya. A statement issued by Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin said: “The safety of our employees is one of the priorities at Russian Railways. The Company knows the exact location of all its staff abroad, and all of them are safe. We are working closely with Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs and the Russian embassy in Libya to identify options to ensure the safety of our employees. A special group of company representatives is flying to Libya to resolve the situation on the ground.”
On 4 March, the unrest “front line” reached the Russian construction base at Ra’s Lanuf, halfway between Benghazi and Surt. Work on the Libyan coastal main-line from Ras Ejder on the Tunisian Border through the capital city Tripoli to Benghazi came to a halt as Chinese and Russian workers left to escape the civil war.
Worth €2.2 billion, the contract includes the building of six major stations.