In the middle of today, three planes of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry sent to Iraq to evacuate staff members of Russian firms have landed in the international airport of Baghdad. The jumbo jets Il-62M and Il-76 landed at 40-minute intervals.
About 360 persons are awaiting evacuation in the airport, the RIA Novosti correspondent reports.
Initially, it was supposed to take out of Iraq 553 Russians and 263 people of the Commonwealth of Independent States working on contract with Russian firms. Four more flights were scheduled for Friday to take them all to Moscow, the spokesman for the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said. Evacuation is voluntary and many have decided to stay despite the complex set-up in Iraq. Therefore, the evacuation is expected to be over today.
The Americans have banned for Russian journalists arriving to Baghdad by the same planes to take pictures on the airfield.
Among the people to be evacuated are 39 Belarussian nationals, RIA Novosti learnt from the Belarussian embassy in Moscow. They did work in Iraq on contract with the Russian company Tekhnopromexport and were building industrial facilities.
NATO intelligence warned the command of the North Atlantic Alliance about a possibility for Russia to test the Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicle