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In Belarus, the sudden and unexplained death of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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What happened to the Belarusian foreign minister? The sudden death of Vladimir Makeï, 64, was announced on Saturday, without any reason being given by the authorities. “Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei died suddenly”, simply declared, on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The diplomat, married with three children, had held the position since 2012 and had no known chronic illness.

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Vladimir Makeï was due to meet, Monday, November 28, in Minsk, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov. The visit was postponed after news of his death was announced. Belarus is a close ally of Russia, offering its territory to Russia to wage its war against Ukraine.

In a statement, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expressed his condolences to Mr. Makei’s family and friends. For its part, the Russian Foreign Ministry declared “deeply mourn untimely death” of a statesman “exceptional”, “true patriot” and ” real friend “ of Russia. “In 2020, Vladimir Makei betrayed the Belarusian people and supported tyranny. This is how Belarusians will remember him”said for her part the leader of the Belarusian opposition in exile, Svetlana Tsikhanovskaïa.

“A loss for Lukashenko”

The head of diplomacy, considered the main channel of communication between Belarus and Western countries, was a loyal supporter of Alexander Lukashenko, of whom he was chief of staff before becoming foreign minister in 2012. This is the only high-ranking politician to survive the Belarusian leader’s 2020 purge after his disputed re-election, which sparked historic, brutally suppressed protests.

“Vladimir Makei spent many years whitewashing Lukashenko in the West and covering up his crimes, commented on Saturday, Franak Viacorka, adviser to Mme Tsikhanovskaya. He is considered the author of the strategy of the “geopolitical seesaw”, which consists of balancing relations between the West and Russia. It is undoubtedly a loss for Lukashenko. But he had never been close to the Belarusians. »

In February, some time before the Russian offensive in Ukraine, Mr. Makeï assured that ” not one “ Russian soldier would stay in Belarus after joint maneuvers with Moscow on the Ukrainian border. On the 24th, however, it was from Belarus, in particular, that Russian troops invaded the country.

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