Dmitry Mezentsev, who has been recently appointed Russia’s Ambassador to Belarus, will be facing the same tasks as his predecessor Mikhail Babich, the reputed Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov said in the Echo of Moscow radio broadcast.
It should be noted that Venediktov is known for his informal friendship with many representatives of the Kremlin. In particular, with Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov.
According to him, these ‘tasks’ that are part of deepening of integration processes to turn Belarus and Russia into a common economic, political and administrative space were set a few years ago.
“Dmitry Mezentsev, a new envoy to Minsk, is a very cautious person, he is attentive and diplomatic. But the tasks that it Vladimir Putin has given and is giving to him do not differ from those committed to his predecessor, Mikhail Babich, i.e. the integration of Russia and Belarus,” Venediktov stressed.
In his opinion, recalling Babich is linked to the recent arrest of Andrey Utsyuryn, the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Security Council Secretary and former head of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s guard.
“Andrey Utsyuryn was Ambassador Babich’s ‘lawful’ counterpart; as Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, he had connections to the Russian ambassador and, apparently, they were discussing something [controversial], which was reported to the president of Belarus, and he informed Vladimir Putin,” he said.
Alexei Venediktov believes that Minsk wanted to show Moscow that ‘we know everything, we are keeping an eye on you’. Moreover, it is also a warning to Belarusian officials against being too close to Russia.