Moscow sends agrement to appoint Chechen govt ex-chairman as envoy to Belarus

The Belarusian authorities have been requested for agrement to appoint a new ambassador to Minsk.

Plenipotentiary representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Volga Federal District, and earlier – the chairman of the Chechen government Mikhail Babich may head the Russian diplomatic mission in Minsk, reports with reference to a source close to the Kremlin.

According to the source, this is the ‘appointment of a political staffer to the post of geopolitical importance’. The issue of changing the ambassador in Belarus has long been discussed and been on the agenda, the source said.

Mikhail Babich, 49 years old, is originally from Ryazan, he served in the Airborne Forces and the KGB, then in the FSB. From 1995 to 1998 he was the head of the corporation “Antey” in Moscow, which develops and manufactures weapons for the air defense forces. From November 2002 to February 2003, he headed the government of the Chechen Republic.

After the dismissal of Mikhail Zurabov from the post of Russia’s Ambassador in Kyiv in July 2016, the Babich’s appointment was considered. However, the Ukrainian side opposed the appointment. Among the reasons was the fact that in 2014 Babich supported the annexation of Crimea. Then the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that “the question was removed from the agenda at the initiative of the Ukrainian side.”

The representative of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Volodymyr Ariev, noted that under conditions of continuing aggression of Russia against Ukraine, the appointment of the Russian ambassador is impossible.

Experts in Kyiv said that Mikhail Babich, who is connected with the Soviet KGB and the Russian FSB, could become the “ambassador of war,” that he is a “professional saboteur” and “a classic candidate for the Kremlin to work with separatists in Donbas to organize force operations.”

Since 2006, the Russian embassy in Minsk has been headed by Alexander Surikov.

ІІ,, following РБК