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Vladimir Makei, a close ally of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, is dead

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, a close ally of President Alexander Lukashenko, is dead “suddenly” at the age of 64, Saturday November 26, reported its spokesman Anatoly Glaz, quoted by the official Belta news agency.

Born in 1958, Mr. Makeï worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before becoming an adviser to President Lukashenko in 2000. Appointed head of the presidential administration in 2008, he quickly became one of the most influential figures of the country, before becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2012.

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It is precisely because of this influence that he was placed by the European Union (EU) on the list of Belarusian officials banned from entering the EU, after the violent repression, in Minsk, of a demonstration of the opposition protesting against the controversial re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as President of the country in December 2010.

Repeated criticism from the West

During his tenure as minister, Belarus has faced repeated criticism from the West for its increasingly harsh crackdown on the opposition, for questionable elections and for allowing Russian troops to based there during the war in Ukraine.

In September, Vladimir Makei defended Belarus’ position before the United Nations Security Council. “Belarus is described as an ‘accomplice of the aggressor’, even a party to the conflict. We have said it and continue to say it: Belarus has never advocated war. But we are not traitors either! We have allied commitments, and we strictly follow and will follow the spirit and the letter of the international treaties to which we are party”did he declare.

“We are shocked by reports of the death of the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei”Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram. “The official condolences will be published soon. »

After attending this week in Yerevan, Armenia, at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance bringing together several former Soviet republics, Vladimir Makeï was to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday.

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Le Monde with AP and AFP

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