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Belarus foreign minister dies suddenly, state news agency says

The country’s state news agency reported that Belarus’s long-serving foreign Minister has died suddenly.

Vladimir Makei was 64 years old, and had held the post since 2012.

He had attended an Armenian conference in Yerevan earlier this week and was due to meet Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, on Monday.

“Foreign minister Vladimir Makei has died suddenly,” Belta, a news agency reported without providing any additional details.

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Before the 2020 presidential election led to large antigovernment protests in Belarus, Mr Makei was one of those who tried to improve relations between Belarus and the West.

He also had criticisms of Russia.

He said that the West had inspired the protests once they began.

He claimed that the West provoked the conflict after Russia invaded Ukraine earlier in the year.

He had promised that there would not be an attack on Ukraine from Belarus a few days prior to the incident, which was on 24 February. However, his promise was broken shortly after it started.

Image: Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says Mr Makei ‘betrayed’ the Belarussian people

Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson, said that Russia was shocked to learn of the death of Mr Makei.

Alexander Lukashenko (Belarussian President), who remained in power despite protests in 2020 has also offered his condolences.

Sviatlana TSikhanouskaya, an exiled leader of the opposition, stated: “In 2020 Makei betrayed Belarusian people, and supported tyranny.

“This is how Belarusian people will recall him.”

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