Like Babich? Belarus envoy to be ‘personally responsible’ for relations with Russia

Ambassador of Belarus to Russia Uladzimir Syamashka has received the authority of a deputy prime minister on the matters of Belarus’ activity within the Union State and relations with Russia.

The corresponding decree was signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the presidential press office reports. Interestingly, former Russian envoy Mikhail Babich had similar powers.

On April 30, Mikhail Babich was relieved from the post of Russian envoy in Minsk; on the same day, it became known that Dmitry Mezentsev would replace him.

Babich was a KGB officer in the Soviet times; under Putin’s rule he started serving in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In August 2018, he was appointed not only Ambassador of Russia, but also Vladimir Putin‘s special representative in Belarus. His objective was to bring integration to a new level, both in the economic and political field. The Belarusian authorities apprehensively welcomed Babich. But in less than a year, the envoy was recalled.

According to the document, Syamashka represents Belarus in contacts with Russian officials and government agencies as well as the Union State authorities. Moreover, he is tasked with making proposals for trade, economic and investment cooperation with Russia to the government, the republican bodies of state administration, regional executive committees, Minsk City Executive Committee and others.

“Uladzimir Syamashka will be personally responsible for the promotion of national interests of Belarus in the Union State and its relations with Russia,” the statement reads.

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